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「ひまわりの歌」  ウイリアム・ブレイク


  物憂げな ひまわりの花よ

  その国にひまわりよ 行きたいというのか

           2022年3月  榎本香菜子

Honeybees love sunflowers


Honeybees love sunflowers. A sunflower field growing toward the horizon is beautiful. I wonder how many honeybees are flying around there. Once, I didn’t know those bees were all male.

Once upon a time, the biggest bee in the hive was thought as a king(male) but turned out it was actually a queen(female). Surprisingly, in the bee society, the only job male bees have to do is to mate with the queen bee, and if they fail, they get kicked out and end up dying. Perfect specialization to sustain their life. The one who lives year after year and keeps on giving birth is only the queen bee, other female as working bees make an elaborate honeycomb, gather pollen and honey, clean the house, look after the babies and even fight to protect their home.  

Japanese honeybees gather up and form a bee ball to surround the hundreds of wasps/hornets who come and try to steal their honey. Shrinking their muscle in the wings to create heat and kill the wasps with it in the end. The bees who formed a ball and fought end up dying themselves or weakened by their own heat. However, when the wasps come again, the ones with short life voluntarily go into the centre of the heat ball and fight again. Perhaps we can’t take this as the spirit of self-sacrifice by our human sentiment. But as I think about human society lately, I can’t stop thinking about these marvelous and mysterious bees.    


I heard that sunflowers are Ukraine’s symbolic flower. The incident that happened is so dreadful that we doubt if this is really happening in this 21st century. I concealed the below poem on the frame of my artwork called “Sunflower seeds spread out from a torn pocket”. 


Ah! Sun-flower     William Blake


       Ah Sun-flower! weary of time,
  Who countest the steps of the Sun:
  Seeking after that sweet golden clime
  Where the travellers journey is done.

  Where the Youth pined away with desire,
  And the pale Virgin shrouded in snow:
  Arise from their graves and aspire,
  Where my Sun-flower wishes to go.

              2022.  3.  Kanako Enomoto

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