The Beekeeper’s Lament by Hannah Nordhaus is awesome. This is one of my favourite parts. Entomologist Justin Schmidt made an index ranking the pain of insects stings, and it’s quite poetic and lovely:
1.0 SWEAT BEE: Light, ephemeral, almost fruity. A tiny spark has singed a single hair on your arm.
1.2 FIRE ANT: Sharp, sudden, mildly alarming. Like walking across a shag carpet and reaching for the light switch.
1.8 BULLHORN ACACIA ANT: A rare, piercing, elevated sort of pain. Someone has fired a staple into your cheek.
2.0 BALD-FACED HORNET: Rich, hearty, slightly crunchy. Similar to getting your hand mashed in a revolving door.
2.0 YELLOWJACKET: Hot and smoky, almost irreverent. Imagine W.C. Fields extinguishing a cigar on your tongue.
2X HONEY BEE AND EUROPEAN HORNET: Like a match-head that flips off and burns on your skin.
3.0 RED HARVESTER ANT: Bold and unrelenting. Somebody is using a drill to excavate your ingrown toenail.
3.0 PAPER WASP: Caustic and burning. Distinctly bitter aftertaste. Like spilling a beaker of hydrochloric acid on a paper cut.
4.0 TARANTULA HAWK: Blinding, fierce, shockingly electric. A running hair drier has been dropped into your bubble bath.
4.0+ BULLET ANT: Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like fire-walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch rusty nail in your heel.
When entomologists are also amazing writers, everybody wins.