Telling the Bees

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Title: Telling the Bees
Author(s): sanguinity
Date(s): 26 March 2014
Length: 882 words
Genre: Angst, Gen
Fandom: Elementary
External Links: Fic on AO3

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Telling the Bees is a short post-Reichenbach AU fic in the Elementary fandom by sanguinity. It's a role-reversal from the Reichenbach of Holmes canon; Joan Watson takes the fall and Sherlock Holmes has to return home to mourn.


"It fell to me to tell the bees, though I had wanted another duty..."

Sherlock returns from Switzerland, but Watson does not.

Recs and Reviews

Excellent. One of the best Reichenbach stories I've read. Poetic, elegiac, evocative...[1] (NairobiWonders' review.)
Aaaaaah this is awesome. Ms Hudson is utter perfection and so is the reveal at the end.[2] (beanarie's review.)
A vignette more than a full fic, it’s built around an old English beekeeping tradition that Ms. Hudson encourages Sherlock to maintain. Sherlock’s head is filled with bee-related lore and he focuses on it because falling apart is not an option. The way he's holding on to his control by the skin of his teeth is palpable, as is the weight of Ms. Hudson’s own grief.

There’s a whole fandom conversation surrounding the fic as well. . . The entirety of that conversation is worth reading and I am recommending it here too.

But “Telling the Bees” is perfect at just 882 words, absolutely heartbreaking, and even though I love the conversation that surrounds it I also recommend reading it just by itself, because its very brevity lends it incredible power.[3] (PhoenixFalls' rec at 221b_recs.)

Related Works

Additionally, Telling the Bees uses the bee nomenclature from La Chanson des Vieux Amants by language_escapes.


  1. ^ Comment, accessed 13 June 2014.
  2. ^ Comment, accessed 13 June 2014.
  3. ^ Rec Post, accessed 13 June 2014.