Tuesday, May 22, 2007


I live in an old house with lots of eaves and overhangs that form perfect nooks and crannies for all manner of flying insects to take up residence.
If there's a tiny Lonely Planet travel guide for wasps, bees and hornets, my house is a recommended destination.

Recently, I noticed a chorus of buzzing outside my kitchen window. Honeybees had established a hive through an attic ventilation shaft just above the window.
Somehow, some of the bees had gotten into the kitchen. I hurriedly duct-taped all the gaps in the window frame through which the bees had possibly squeezed and nervously scanned the ceiling for other potential entryways.
Then I wondered what I was going to do next.
I couldn't very well have bees flying in my house. My thoughts turned to my cats and the possible danger the bees posed to a feline that might try to swallow one.
My first instinct was to call my landlady and have her send in the exterminators.

But then I thought, wait a minute, these are honeybees. Something's killing them all over the country. Did I want to add to that?
I decided I would live with the hive and deal with the few bees that somehow made their way into my kitchen.
And then, just a couple days ago, the frantic apian comings and goings outside the window stopped. Where there had been a cloud of bees outside the hive, there was now only silence.

We had been having a stretch of chilly weather the past few days, and I thought the bees were staying inside the hive as a result. But the days have gotten slightly warmer, and there is still not a trace of them.
Not one single bee.

This is very frightening.


east village idiot said...

This sounds like the beginning of a sci-fi movie....only it's real life.

Michael said...

Yes, it's very unsettling, especially in conjunction with all the other telltale signs that Nature is growing weary of our arrogance.

Tom said...

It is worrisome. But surely they GO somewhere rather than just disappearing. We can hope they simply choose to live wild, away from beekeepers and bee-eating cats. Perhaps the scouts have found a nice forest of hardy northern tupelo they can reside near to, lessening their commute.

Michael said...

Actually, the bees just up and die. The implications are pretty scary if it continues for long, as crop pollination will suffer -- and then so will we as a result.

Brotha Buck said...

Ah, I'm glad you realized, I was gonna comment: Don't kill them! Then I read on. Weird thing, huh?

Michael said...

It's a very strange phenomenon, Buck. The fact that nobody seems to know what's causing it is especially unsettling. Climate change. Strange diseases. Disappearance of species. How long can we piss in the pool, so to speak, without consequences?

Zen said...

Yeah that is scary...with all that goes on these days...soon it maybe us...next

I'm glad you did not do the deed.

Michael said...

Yes, Zen. Just goes to show how even the smallest of creatures can have a profound impact on our lives.