You know this little guy? It’s the honey bee of course, and he’s doing his job by pollinating that pretty flower. We need honey bees because they not only pollinate pretty flowers but they are super efficient at populating our agriculture. Today, I listened to an old episode of one of my favorite podcasts: Stuff You Should Know, and it was about Colony Collapse Disorder. CCD is this very strange phenomena where an entire colony of honey bees completely disappears, their hive is abandoned and they just vanish. There are a couple of key pieces of evidence that it really is CCD: presence of capped brood in the hive still, and food stores left behind. Normally, bees wouldn’t ever leave offspring or food behind. There are a lot of theories about why this happens: illness, pestacides, cell phone towers, yeah there’s lot of theories. Anyways, bees are essential to our food supply, without them, we’ll all have less food, with less food, we’ll all get really thin and angry and poor, the food will eventually run out and we’ll die. That of course is a very quick storyline of what might unfold. The truth of the matter is that scientists are in a bit of a panic over this problem and are trying to find man made ways of pollinating in the same method of the bees, but so far nothing is better than the natural efficiency.
This all leads me to the time I karate kicked a honey bee in Bar Harbor, Maine while on vacation. I was walking down the sidewalk and a harmless bee appeared right in front of me, and my instinct was to kick it, so I did, and it was pretty hard. The bee went flying. You have no idea how guilty I feel right now! Our food supply is diminishing and I might have killed one of the most valueable insects on the planet for no reason at all. Yeah I don’t feel bad about all the lady bugs that I accidentally smooshed, or the ants that I trap in poison and sticky traps, but I feel terrible about that 1 bee. I’ve been thinking about it for hours now, you probably think I’m crazy but it’s actually kind of shocking to me how much remorse I feel…I hardly ever feel this kind of regret. I don’t even know how to make it up to him. Actually yes I do, the podcast suggested that a way to help out the bee community would be to plant lots of bee friendly flowers in your home garden, join this project to help bee research, and to buy local honey.
I know most people will just think I’m being totally ridiculous, but here’s the thing: when something actually grips you, I think it’s important to not just let it fade away even if it seems really small and stupid to other people. I really don’t care if people think I’m weird because I want to plant some sunflowers in my yard to help bee research, I mean who does it hurt?