This was a red-letter day for the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. Two hives were installed on the roof of our flagship Jacques Delors building. And our new VIPs (Very Important Pollinators) were let out to explore their new surroundings. All of the aggression has been bred out of these industrious new guests (as you can see). Once the colonies have reached their full size each hive is expected to produce some forty kilos of honey. But this initiative is more about the bees and educating everybody to the fact that they, a vital part of agriculture, are in alarming decline. As so often, Shakespeare says it all (though he got the gender of the monarch wrong):

For so work the honey-bees,/Creatures that by a rule in nature teach/The act of order to a peopled kingdom./They have a king and officers of sorts;/Where some, like magistrates, correct at home,/Others, like merchants, venture trade abroad,/Others, like soldiers, armèd in their stings,/Make boot upon the summer’s velvet buds;/Which pillage they with merry march bring home/To the tent-royal of their emperor:/Who, busied in his majesty, surveys/The singing masons building roofs of gold,/The civil citizens kneading up the honey,/The poor mechanic porters crowding in/Their heavy burdens at his narrow gate,/The sad-eyed justice, with his surly hum,/Delivering o’er to executors pale/The lazy yawning drone./Shakespeare, Henry V, I. 2