In the garden of the Fields home, entomologist Ben hears a buzzing noise and comes out. He's unaware that a bee has landed out of sight and transformed into a human female and then passed out from the strain. Ben finds her and when she wakes up, the woman claims that she fell. She addresses Ben by name and introduces herself as Regina, and says that she came to be his assistant based on his ad in the newspaper. Ben points out that his wife Francesca went into town to place the ad for tomorrow's paper, and Regina says that she was there and took advantage to apply for the position first. She quotes Ben's book and assures him that she's not allergic to bee stings.
Francesca comes out and Ben calls her over to introduce Regina. Regina says that she lost her luggage in transit and offers goes to put Ben's laboratory in order. Francesca figures that Ben has hired Regina, and he notes that his wife didn't stop him.
In the lab, Regina admires a swarm of bees in a honeycomb. Outside, Francesca tells Ben that she doesn't think that she thinks she objects to have a child working for him. Regina hears them and quickly goes to work to make herself look busy.
Later, Regina continues straightening things up as Ben works at his microscope. She comes over and looks at him, and tells him that he has an orderly logical mind. Ben says that he's going to have to check her references, and Regina tells him that he has none. She claims that the man she worked for last had a wife who threatened to ruin Regina's reputation, so Regina left and the husband hasn't responded to her letters. Ben shows her the fertilized eggs of a Nigerian queen bee and Regina asks if he wants to be the father of that many children. Ben tells Regina that he'd settle for being the father of one child,
In the living room, Francesca confirms with the newspaper that no one was nearby when she dictated the ad to Lund over the phone. She tells the owner, Lund, to run the ad in case Regina doesn't work out.
Ben says that he's accelerated the intellectual growth of bees and they're already developing a language. He brings out a language analyzer that translates the sound of bees into human language. Francesca calls and Regina takes the call and tells her that Ben is occupied. She hangs up and Ben shows her an artificial bee that he's built. He has Regina put on an earphone and speaks some test lines to the bees, and then begins. The bees talk about fighting against an invader, and say that the artificial bee is an invader. They attack and destroy it, and Ben shuts down the equipment and tells Regina that he can translate 70% of everything that the bees say.
Francesca calls again and asks Ben to see him the moment that he's free. He agrees and tells Regina that he'll have Francesca take her shopping to get her a uniform. Once she's alone, Regina turns on the translator and informs the bees that she's now human and the "drone"--Ben--already aspires to her. When he dies, his memory will live on in their million children.
Later, Francesca takes Regina to the guest room. Regina asks if the room was originally intended as a nursery and says that it must be devastating when Ben wants children and Francesca can't give them to him. She says that she and Ben were discussing their mutual tragedies. Francesca asks her about how she learned how she placed the ad, and Regina claims that the girl who took it over the phone repeated it to her. When Francesca points out that Lund took the ad, Regina says that she wasn't trying to incriminate Lund. Francesca suggests that Regina eat in the bedroom, but Regina asks if she's to be treated as an equal. As Francesca leaves, Regina says that her mother was regal and such mothers should have sons, and her mother treated her as an ugly duckling so she expects all elderly women to treat her harshly. Francesca says that she's not that elderly and asks Regina if she wants to help her, and Regina declines.
Regina has dinner with the Fields, and Francesca talks about the faculty teas. The talk turns to insecticides and Francesca says that most housewives wouldn't fear insects if they stayed in their own worlds. She talks about how everyone is a little uneasy about the insects because they can't look into their eyes. Francesca says that she's inoculated against bee stings, and Regina points out that bees' thoughts can also be dangerous. Ben jokingly says that the bees' thoughts are only dangerous to the drones, and Regina talks about the beautify of the mating ritual between a drone and a queen bee. She seductively eats a pepper, and Ben hastily says that he's going back to work and leaves with Regina.
In the lab, Ben continues his work with the translator. He realizes that it's past midnight and Regina goes. Francesca is in bed and hears Regina leave the lab, and Regina secretly watches her. Ben is closing up the lab, and Francesca comes in and says that Regina disturbs her. Their baby would have been Regina's age, and Ben treated Regina at the dinner table like he would have treated their daughter. Francesca admits that she's jealous, and Ben says that Regina is not their daughter. His wife worries that she might be glad they didn't have another child, and Ben assures her that she's who he wants. Francesca tells her husband that she tries to be like his bees--mechanical and emotionless--and Ben tells her that he doesn't find her emotions tiresome. Regina comes in and asks when she should come down in the morning, and Ben and Francesca go to their bedroom.
The next day, Regina looks out the lab window and communes with the bees.
While Ben sleeps, Francesca stands at the patio window and looks at the sky. She sees Regina walking through the garden sniffing flowers and hugging them. Regina picks up a lily from the fountain and eats the pollen, and her head changes to that of a giant bee. Scared, Francesca backs away from the window and calls to Ben.
The next day, Ben goes to the lab and finds Regina waiting. She says that she feels responsible because Francesca saw her in the garden. Regina tells Ben that the moonlight drew her to the garden and she was sniffing flowers. Francesca calls and Regina takes it, and then tells Ben that Francesca sounded normal and everything will be all right. Once he leaves, Regina turns on the translator.
Ben goes to the bedroom and Francesca asks him to stay close because she needs his strength. He calls Regina and asks for coffee, and she says that she'll make a fresh pot. She then goes back to the translator.
Francesca brushes her hair and Ben watches her.
The bees wonder if they made Regina perfect enough. She moans in pan and says that something is wrong, but insists that she will survive. The bees insist that she produce, and once they have the lifespan of a human then millions of them will conquer the human world. Regina says that she will wait no longer and has only waited because humans believe they must experience love when mating. She screams in pain and Ben runs down to investigate. Regina collapses on the floor, and Ben calls Dr. Howard Warren in to check her. Howard is surprised when he checks Regina's eyes, and prepares to give her an injection. Regina writhes in pain, and later in bed she wakes up and cries about the darkness. Ben is sitting at her bed, and Regina asks him if he's going to die. She begs Ben not to let her die without knowing love, and Ben says that Howard thinks that it was food poisoning. Regina asks Ben to love her and then lays back, and Ben tells her that he's in love with Francesca. She says that she will live for him because she loves him, and he should be happy to have love.
When Regina apparently dozes off, Francesca comes to the door and wonders if Regina is deceiving them. She tells Ben to get some sleep while she sits with Regina, and Ben goes to bed.
The next day, Ben cleans up the lab and finds a tape reel that was recording before Regina collapsed. He plays it and hears the conversation between Regina and the bees. Howard comes in and says that he already looked in on Regina, and tells Ben that Regina is a medical anomaly. Her blood is totally out of balance and is the closest thing to a mutant that he's ever seen. Ben says that Howard hasn't gathered enough information to make that diagnosis, but Howard insists that he knows about human beings.
Later, Regina leaves the garden. Ben finds her and Regina says that she doesn't look goodbyes and has apparently accelerated Francesca's "disintegration". She says that she can't love a man who deludes himself, and Ben would admit to himself if not Regina that he loves her. Back in the house, Ben accuses Francesca of driving Regina off. Francesca assures him that he's done nothing wrong, but insists that Regina wasn't what she seemed. Regina listens from the garden and smiles as Ben and Francesca fight, and Francesca says that Regina was a threat to them.
Ben walks out and leaves the house, and Regina chains the gate shut and goes into the lab. She uses the translator to tell the bees that she doesn't intend to leave. Francesca secretly listens from the door as the bees beg Regina's forgiveness for doubting her. They warn Regina that Francesca is there, and Regina turns to her and laughs. Francesca runs outside and Regina releases the swarm to attack her. The human woman is unable to escape past the locked gate, and Regina watches as the bees kill her and then return to their container.
Later, Francesca is buried. Afterward, Howard reaches Ben by phone and asks if he needs anything. He reminds Ben to take the tranquilizer pills that he gave him, and says that Francesca was poisoned and he can't identify the poison. Once Ben hangs up, Regina comes in wearing Francesca's wedding veil. Furious, Ben yanks it off of her and Regina says that she found it in her room and put it on to make him laugh. She realizes that Ben is feeling "grief", and Ben says that they share their grief and Joy. Regina asks if he will share her joy if she shares his grief, and offers to show him her joy.
Regina takes Ben to the mirror and says that he sees her joy: him. She asks if they can be married, and Ben tells her that there are tons of legalities and red tape. Ben describes the "ritual" of marriage and how it only happens once and no one can uproot the memory. He accuses Regina of killing Francesca, and she backs away from him as he talks about sharing the human ritual of life and how no inhuman mutation has ever been able to stop it. Regina falls over the railing and falls to the ground two stories below. Grief-stricken, Ben drops Francesca's wedding veil on the floor. Outside, Regina transforms back into a bee and flies off.
Written by Gadfly on Mar 16, 2019