I cleaned the outside of my windows and glass balcony doors in my apartment recently and had to grapple with a few stubborn and fearless bees that came by to check out how my project was coming along.
If anyone saw my undertaking from afar, it surely looked hilarious. My plan of attack for dealing with bees is profound: Nothing. I do nothing. I freeze up like a statue, the only hint of life being the terrified hum I involuntarily emit because my mind apparently refuses to endure such panic silently.
I haven’t been stung by a bee since I was a kid, but the pain must have been real enough to leave a scar.
We are facing somewhat of a crisis in honeybee populations and despite their reputation and ability to send children (and sometimes grownups cleaning their windows…) into a panic, they serve a crucial function to Earth and all life on it — pollination. (With such responsibility, you’d think Mother Nature would make them cuter. If kittens carried out the job bees do, we wouldn’t have this problem).
The nation’s top ag officials this week got together to urge the federal government to come up with a strategy for promoting the health and welfare of bees and to curb colony collapse disorder. The condition is a mystery. Adult honeybees are disappearing. We don’t know why.
Doug Goehring, North Dakota’s ag commissioner, is leading the effort. It’s fitting — North Dakota is the No. 1 honey producer in the country.
I hope we can come up with a solution. We need to. Bees are important to agriculture and, therefore, to humans.
It is possible I’d have less sympathy had I been stung by one of those curious bees on my balcony. I’d like to think it wouldn’t have affected my opinion…