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Whither bees?

by VM Brasseur on March 29th, 2007

Bees! The bees are going missing!

That’s right. It’s quite the mystery. All over the country, millions of our apiary friends are not in their hives where they ought to be. Is it a fungus? Pesticide? A virus? A parasite? Youthful rebellion? What’s killing off the bees?

Well, there’s an assumption for you. The thing is, when you open one of these beehives, aside from the distinct lack of buzzing another thing you notice is a distinct lack of bodies. No bee corpses. Some honey. A few larvae. A sprinkling of pollen. But no trace of adult bees, living or dead. So we don’t know that they’ve been killed. All we know is that we can’t find them.

WooooOOOOoooo. Spooky, ain’t it? It’s spookier than you think. Because where the bees go, there goes also the food. No, not honey (though that’s being affected). I mean the fruits, the vegetables, the silage which feeds the animals which provide the meat. None of these things will be unaffected by the disappearance of the bees.

Scientists are stymied as to why the bees have just up and left their cozy homes. It would be nice if the answer were as simple as “alien abduction” or “it’s spring break, duh”, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here. At any rate, Palm Beach is not reporting a record increase in its bee population so that’s not likely to be the reason.

So until the powers-that-bee find out where these insects have gone we need to take care of the ones we have left. If you see a bee, treat it kindly. Make it feel welcome and appreciated. Invite it in for tea or something. Just make sure it doesn’t go to that Great Beehive like all its compatriots. We need those little buggers.

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