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Lightning Bees

"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and lightning bug."
-Mark Twain

Zared, Kalamar, and Talamar loved to come out into the apple groves and watch the lightning bees as they polinated the plants around the orchards and fields around the farming community where they grew up.

This evening was no exception. "The lightning bees are sure pretty tonight," Zared thought, as she watched them hovering and flying around the trees and flowers. It took her back to a time last summer.

Zared purched high in an oak tree watching as her father, Xander, cautiously approached the poachers in a clearing. The poachers were roasting a deer they had illegally shot in the Bandinoc Wookland. As Xander came to the edge of the clearing something startled one of the five poachers and he looked up and saw Xandder. He yelled, "Ranger! Run!" and the men scattered leaving their deer on the fire. Xander hit three of them with his tranquilizer darts before they got away. The other two fled into the forest. Zared saw a swarm of lightning bees in a tree near by and thought, "I wish they would go after the outlaws and mark them so dad could find them easier." No sooner did she have the thought than the swarm veered toward the two and stung them repeatedly. Now, their necks, faces, arms, and hands were lit up in the twilight. In no time, Xander rounded all five poachers up for arrest and questioning.

After the men paid their fines and were released, Xander said to Zared, "What happened back there?" "I don't know dad, I just wished the bees would sting those guys and mark them, so you could see them easier and it happened," Zared said.

Lightning bees look like honey bees except their back half contains the light of a lightning bug. They also have a stinger and when they sting any creature, the skin of the body part glows for about an hour afterward.

Lightning bees were developed centuries ago by mages trying to polinate and imbue magic into plants on Octisafell. The mages created a hybrid of honey bees and fireflies. This resulted in a species that could polinate and infuse the plants with the ability to glow, flicker, or spark as well as keep the natural properties of the plant. Besides polinating plants, the lightning bees produce sparkle honey which is highly sought after to make fancy preserves, pastries, and other food. The honey is so prized by the royal house and court that the palace cooks and bakers have a standing order every season with the beekeepers in Applefield. In Applefield itself, the substance is common enough to be a regular feature of the dinner table.

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Image purchased from Vectorstock

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