I found myself chatting with Autumn Dawn recently, a very nice author who's over at http://www.authorautumndawn.blogspot.com/ and who gave THE BATTLE SYLPH a sweet little plug. She'd just got herself a new beehive and the idea of hives and queens in the sylph universe appealed to her. She asked me why I used that idea.
It's kind of hard to say what I was thinking when I came up with it. I've said before somewhere that the sylphs were inspired by bees and tengu and all sorts of stuff. I tend to play with concepts in my writing, even if I'm the only one who knows it, and I do recall that I brought in the bee idea because I wanted to explore the idea of power. I've read a lot of books, both good and bad, which have characters with immense power, and immense power over other people. That's great. But usually those with the greatest power end up with those they have power over going "Hey! Cut it out!" Look at all the books where the the protagonists are out to stop the evil king/god/demon/priest/whatever who's crushing their freedom. I can't think off the top of my head of any books where the characters are under that sort of absolute power and are perfectly fine with it. It would be a rare sylph indeed who didn't want to have a master/queen (*shifty look towards book six*) Anyway, bees are happy with the whole hive mentality, and I kind of liked that for the sylphs. It certainly wouldn't work in any universe - humans are notoriously bad at bee-like behaviour - but it worked in this one.