Uniting Colonies

‘Remove the old queen first’, says the book;
I find her scuttling among the workers on her brood,
pick her up between finger and thumb,
the mother of the colony.
Now, shall I squeeze her to death
or simply fling her away from the hive?
As I hesitate she escapes my clutch,
dives back to her daughters on the frames
and disappears among the milling crowds.

I leave her there. Let nature take its way.
Tonight there’ll be battle royal
as the old queen and the young rival I’ve implanted
fight to the death for colonial rule.