When the Anatomical Venus’s wax was stolen from them, the bees realized they had kept no notes, had no way of beginning again. The loss was insurmountable. The queen, the architect of this beauty, was old, and believed her virgin queens uninspired. The workers sensed her distress and became agitated. They attacked the queens one by one, until the vacuum of power reflected the vacuum of direction. In these their last days alive, the workers bit at the remaining honeycomb, chewing it to soften it then spitting it out. In this way they covered the corpses of the queens. In this way they built an effigy of their loss. In this way they deprived the anatomists of further perfect wax.