Friday, August 24, 2012

Cruelty to Bees: Fun with News Friday

Okay, when I first read the headline -- Authorities remove 3 million bees from NYC home -- my assumption was that, for whatever reason, the bees had invaded a home and were living in the walls or something. I mean, I know a little about bees, but I'm not clear on all of the particulars, such as bee home invasion.

However, I was wrong. The real story gets even weirder. Apparently the bees were being kept by the homeowner in 45 hives. There's nothing weird about beekeeping. I once shared a house with a beekeeper. The honey was great, and the bees in the back yard never bothered anybody. After all, we lived in the middle of acres and acres of almond trees just waiting to be pollinated. They were busy bees!

Beekeeper keeping bees

These bees, on the other hand, were owned by a gentleman in New York City who said they were like pets to him, like a dog or a cat. The police detective involved in removing the bees (It's not against the law to own bees, but these bees hadn't been registered along with payment of the appropriate fees.) claimed that there was not enough room for that many bees. "It's cruelty to bees," he said.

Okay, let's get serious here. Three million bees sounds like a lot. The detective actually said (I'm not making this up!), "There are more bees in this driveway than there are people in Queens."  Ummm....yeah....and? There's a point to that comparison? Does each bee take up the same area and resources as one person? I'm a little confused here. I don't want to be the one to tell the detective that there are more insects than people on earth. No telling what he might try to do about that!

Bees Collecting Pollen 2004-08-14

Of course the detective's concern for bee welfare doesn't have to make sense to me as long as it makes sense to him, right?

Nevertheless, I too worry about the bees with no almond orchards to work in. What do New York City bees do for fun on a Satuday afternoon? Apparently the neighbors, who had not volunteered to live with a yard full of bees, weren't able to leave their homes without dealing with swarms of bees.

Without orchards and fields in need of pollenization, the bees apparently turned to bee thuggery. They put on their little black leather jackets and sagged their little bee pants.  They roamed the neighborhood, whistling at girls and pitching pennies in the street. They formed little bee gangs with names like The Flyers and The Darts and met up for rumbles in the neighborhood park. Eventually a bee named Tony met the sister of a bee from the opposing gang. Her name was Maria. They fell in love, but it was ill-fated from the start.

Figure skating bees

Okay. Too much. Sorry.

Sometimes my imagination runs away. It usually gets to the corner and comes back though, because it's not allowed to cross the street by itself.

That's Fun with News Friday. Have a great weekend, y'all!



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