With help from bees and Emily Dickinson, a retired professor of literature comes to better understand the artisanal nature of teaching, especially in relation to the labour and fruits of close reading experience:
"In my new relationship with honeybees, I have come to understand more about teaching than I did before. In addition to hexagonal characters on a cuneiform, cells on bee frames resemble rows of student desks. I know now that when we send the students who briefly inhabit those desks out to forage in a text, we mean for them to come back to the classroom with the nectar they have extracted from their reading, there to engage in an interpretive dance not unlike the waggle dance returning forager bees make to encourage and direct other workers to valuable foraging sites. Making a nectar deposit in the classroom itself, to be multiplied in discussion as each student approaches the poem or novel, allows the young members of our colony to contribute to the "Amber Quantity." "