This story relates that a man discovered a hive of bees living in the walls of his home. The hive was so large that the walls oozed honey.
Better than blood, I always say.
Okay, so I don’t always say that, but it was the first thought that lept to mind. Which is pretty disturbing, actually.
Honestly, this whole story confuses me. Do you have any idea how loud 60,000 bees would be? I don’t either, but I’m guessing it’s pretty damn. Loud, that is.
He didn’t live alone, either, as his wife is mentioned in the article. So are they both deaf? Or do they watch TV at exceedingly high decibels, 24/7? Perhaps they heard the buzzing but thought it was something else, like a leafblower or a cropduster or a bunch of very tiny people in their walls, all going BZZZZZZZZZ! in unison.
So the way the bees were discovered was because the plaster was dripping honey, not because of the noise of 60,000 small winged insects going about their business. The article says that the owner of the house saw the golden substance oozing out of the walls and realized it was honey. How?
He tasted it.
Sure. Okay. That seems reasonable. If something indeterminate was sliding down the walls of my home, I’d lick it, no problem.
Wait. I mean no, no I wouldn’t.
I don’t mean to be uncharitable, but the image I’m getting of these people is rather, ah…unconventional.
At any rate, I was relieved to discover that they did not call an exterminator (as might have been the conventional reaction), but instead enlisted the help of local beekeepers to remove the honeymakers by means of specialized vacuum cleaners, in order to safely relocate them.
I must take a moment to give you this link about the current plight of human civilization as we know it the humble honeybee, because it is honestly quite troubling. Did you know that 1/3 of the crops grown in the USA depend upon the honeybee for pollination? That’s more than 90 fruits and vegetables. And in the last year over 36% of the honeybee hives were killed off by “Colony Collapse Disorder” which is another name for “We have no idea what the hell is causing this”.
Basically, the experts think the bees are very, very stressed out.
I don’t blame them. For one thing, there is this.
Like many creatures on God’s green earth, the honeybee is often maligned and misunderstood. I feel it is my duty to do my part to set the record straight. Here are a few thoughts for your kind consideration:
- Bees are valuable. Honey is yummy. So are apples, pecans, strawberries, squash, soybeans, grapes, almonds, oranges, peaches, peanuts, and blueberries, all of which (and this is a highly abbreviated list) are pollinated by the honeybee. Cotton is also pollinated by honeybees, and though I cannot eat it, I am grateful for its contribution to my panty-comfort-level.
- Bees do not want to sting you. Why would they? They die shortly after stinging, so they are much happier to just go about their business of pollination and nectar-gathering. If a bee is invading your personal space, remain calm. Look as un-flower-like as possible. Do not run and scream and flail your arms about. This may be perceived as threatening behavior, so if you persist in such activities, I cannot help you.
- Sugar wasps are often mistaken, unfairly, for honeybees. Thus, you often hear people complain about being stung! by! a bee! at a picnic or whatnot, when what they really encountered was a sugar wasp. A honeybee does not want your soda, or pie, or cookies. A sugar wasp does. A honeybee may very well be in the clover at your feet, but she is unlikely to be dive-bombing your head as you drink your root beer.
To further assist in dispelling this confusion, here is a picture of a sugar wasp:
And here is our friend, the honeybee:
As you can see, the honeybee is cuter. Okay, so maybe that’s just me. But seriously, the wasp is smooth and bright and menacing! He looks just loaded for bear! He’s looking for root beer, and he’s ready to fight you for it!
The honeybee, awwww…just look at her. Innocently stuffing her face with nectar. She is fuzzy, and almost cuddly looking. She wants only to contribute.
So do not fear the honeybee.
Okay, if you are allergic and will suffer an anaphalactic reaction to her sting, then you’re allowed. The rest of you, when you see a honeybee this summer, take a moment to appreciate her tireless efforts that make this world (and this is just my honest opinion) a more beautiful and delicious place to live.