MIRROR HONEY

When Narcissus gazed into the pond, and saw the wonder of the universe in the beauty of his own reflection, all meaning was drained from his physical flesh. At that exact moment of realization, he withered into nothingness, for his image had superseded his presence in reality. A single flower grew in his place, one which bore his name, and its own reflection served as its roots.

It came to pass that a single honeybee landed on this flower, and that honeybee's reflection landed on the flower's reflection. After gathering pollen from its perfect corona, the honeybee fluttered eastward, towards the night sky, and its mirror image fluttered westward, towards the setting sun. It was at this precise moment that these two worlds diverged for the first time.

Because of their compound eyes, insects are more accustomed to the plurality of truth than creatures of larger stature. For the honeybee, however, this plurality became much more apparent than normal. Every time it visited the Narcissus flower, more and more of its visual receptors began to display life in a different reality than the one it currently occupied. Lacking the intellect to understand such things, however, it simply continued its mission, bumbling about from flower to flower.

In this manner, a single honeybee managed to disrupt the integrity of the cosmos as a whole. After several such visits, more honeybees existed in reality’s mirror image than existed within reality itself. Some of these extraneous bees even managed to breed, resulting in permanent damage to the symmetry between worlds.

These days, there are beekeepers who take advantage of this anomalous behavior. If one such desynchronized bee is enclosed within a chamber of opposing mirrors, it can then form a complete hive alongside its own infinite reflections. Such a hive has no queen, resulting in something more of a honeybee republic. Without a monarch to serve, the colony behaves in a more egalitarian manner than nature typically allows, though such behavior can never last more than a single generation.

In order for this type of hive to be established, its volume must be completely enclosed from outside, so that no external light may enter. This is because reflections can only cross through the surface of a mirror while they are not externally observable. While the colorless honey that results of this process is a delicacy, it is impossible to know exactly how it is made. The bees are clearly gathering pollen from somewhere, though it is a place that human eyes will never see; peering inside never reveals more than a single, lonely insect bouncing against its walls.


Bees have little regard for human conceptions of geometry.

It is difficult to provide mirror hives with proper funerals.

When mirrors fall out of sync, bad things can happen.


THE INNER RING

DRASTIC MEASURES