I had a strange experience in the orchard today. I walked out, in the early evening, and the plum tree blossom was drifting slowly down, and the tree was humming.
It was the bees. When there's a single bee near me, I can hear it; the individual quality of its buzz is clear, as if there's a tiny silence between the infinitesimal moments of sound. It has a definite pitch, a definite texture almost.
But when there are so many bees, their sounds all mingle together into a huge hum, like the aftertone of a peal of bells, or a roomful of Tibetan singing bowls. It was magnificent. The sound of a French orchard in April.