Of Humans, Bees, and Stewardship

(Disclaimer: I admire beekeepers in general, and I adore honey for both its wonderful taste and healing properties. This is not a tirade against the bee industry at large, merely the idea that we always know better than the animals we are "keeping.")

We don't always know best. But we like to think we do. And we're not more important than anyone else. But it usually feels that way. We live in a world of fast-moving vehicles, deadlines, twitters and food-on-the-go. Most of us hurry around, thinking we should be at the front of the line, our just one car ahead. And nowhere is that attitude more prevalent and lamentable than our approach to the natural world and the animal kingdom.

We've all heard of "Colony Collapse Disorder," where bees are mysteriously disappearing from hives. No bodies have been found, in any of the cases, yet we have been led to believe that they must all be dying. I mean, what else would prevent them from returning to the hive. Myself, I believe that many bees are staging a coup, rebelling against the little white boxes where humans steal their honey and abuse their earnest, hard-work. At least, I imagine that is how bees must feel the day after the well-meaning beekeeper removes honeycomb and honey from their hive. Some bees, of course, are probably also falling prey to radio frequencies and pesticides. Who knows, maybe its the new digital tv signals... In CT, I have seen a profusion of honeybees on my properties in the last few years, and even a swarm that was looking for a new home. I welcomed them to partake in my flowering bounty, and invited them to make a home nearby in the forest a hundred feet away. No pesticides here, and no digital airwave or cell phone reception, either.

So...where is this all going? Well here is an article I just read that rubbed me the wrong way:

"A swarm of around 10,000 bees apparently got bored of flying themselves - so they settled on the wing of a plane instead.
The left wing of the plane, used for training at a flight school in Danvers, Massachusetts, became covered in the bees, forcing the owner of the flight centre to call the police.
The police then called in a bee removal expert, who used a special bee-removing vacuum cleaner to suck all the bees off the wing.

According to the bee remover, the bees may have found themselves on the plane's wing after the queen stopped to rest on it, and the other bees followed her to protect her." - as reported on metro.co.uk

Bee swarms do not stay in one place for a long time. They are traveling, looking for a new home. They will often temporarily land on a tree limb, side of a house or just about any location, while scout bees are looking for the best location to establish the newly formed colony. The owner of the flight center was not "forced" by anyone to call police, and the bee remover could have recommended some time for the bees to move on. But everyone had a job to do, and money to make. The school "had" to do their lessons for the day, and of course they are more important than some bees. They were bigger, and had more important things to do than allow 10,000 sentient beings rest a short while and continue on to their new home. Now, the renegade swarm has most likely been relocated into a human hive miles or even counties away from where they were planning to relocate, as happened last week in NY to a similar swarm resting outside a retail store which was relocated several hours away (by car).

Whatever happened to courtesy? Whatever happened to patience? Whatever happened to live and let live?

In the immortal, edifying words of Hannah Montana: "Whatever."

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