wet bee diary

Friday, August 08, 2003
Oh, the URL for this blog does work. I have three bees on my chest of drawers, all of the bumble sort. One is in a small blue box - my scientist brother gave me that. One is in some big seed husks that me and my lovely wife pulled off a tree in Morocco. The bee is english though. The other is chalky and is in a translucent box. It's chalky because I found it on the pavement round the corner from our house in south east London, while I was on my way to work in a doctors' surgery, but I didn't have anything to keep it in apart from a bottle of melatonin. So i put it in there and it got dusty from all the tablets. They're supposed to put you to sleep and set your sleeping pattern into a natural rhythm - I hope they give that little dead bee a nice slumber.

Oh I can remember an excellent bee story... someone I was talking to recently - I think they might have been Scottish - was telling me about a family holiday they'd been on as a child... someone in their family got stung by a bee, and they saw loads of other bees flying around. They got angry with whatever beekeeper had let his bees out to sting a nice holiday-making family, then they saw some guy in full beekeeping kit galloping towards them shouting "come back you bees!". They couldn't be angry with him because this was so ridiculous.

I have bees galore. I have bee stories galore. But a) the normal url for this blog doesn't seem to work b) I have no time, what with my "high powered media career" to update it, and c) nothing else.

Thursday, June 26, 2003
We have bumble bees living under our front doorstep. I like to see them in the morning. Our cat Missy (or Nounou) chases most insects, but she respects the bees.

I got emailed a story from a rave dance music person in Glasgow, Scotland:

Jun 25 2003

Bee experts in Missouri have been working around the clock on the "miserable job" of getting millions of bees back in their hives after they were freed by a traffic accident.

A lorry carrying 520 hives to Wisconsin crashed near Claycomo town, spilling broken hives across the road. The driver was stung repeatedly, as were police, firefighters and tow truck operators who arrived at the scene.

Rheuben Johnson was among those hired to get the bees back in their hives.

"It is just the most miserable job you can dream of," he said. "You get them in a box any way you can. And they are unhappy. If they get you around the eyes, it really hurts."

Saturday, June 21, 2003
I just got this email:


I'm writing from Indiana in the U.S.A. and I'd like to report that I found a
dead bee in the middle of the floor in a little room upstairs I use for a
sanctuary of sorts.
It seemed very odd to me, and a bit disconcerting to find this little
bee-corpse there. I've no idea how it got in. At first I was thinking that
maybe we
have bees in the walls, but then I realized it could have flown in from
downstairs when the door was opened or something. And then the poor thing flew
upstairs and died...

We actually did have bees in a wall in a house I lived in when I was little.
That was in Miami, Florida. I have vivid memories of eating at the kitchen
table and my father waving a fly swatter at the bees.

I certainly enjoy the wet bee diary.
Best regards,

Tuesday, May 13, 2003
According to a Christian Aid charity advert that was just on telly, which featured a young man fighting with a two headed ghost of some sort, "just ten pounds spent on beehives can raise enough money to send thirty African children to school". Which is nice.

Sunday, May 04, 2003
A text message from my science brother: "I saw a bee with a proboscis. It turns out it's a cuckoo bee. They lay their eggs in red arsed bumble bee nests and bugger off. How good?"

Very good.

Sunday, April 27, 2003
Ahaaa - "Velvet ants look like large hairy ants, but they are actually wasps" - take that, Mr Clever Lawyer Man!

Some bees caused a royal garden party to be held up for an hour or so last week, when they swarmed underneath someone's seat. It was on the news, and I laughed till I almost wee-ed when I saw the royal footmen in their stupid uniforms running round like headless chickens trying to work out how to get rid of the bees, and all the social climbers huddled together in the corner of the garden going "ooh it's some bees!"

Goodness me it's difficult to keep up with a blog when you've left off for a while isn't it? Don't answer that.

Anyway, me and the wife went to dinner with our nice lawyer friends in Stoke Newington the night before last, and ate venison with small fruits preserved in mustard-flavoured syrup. Our host revealed that a) as a baby he had jaundice, which made him stripy, so he was nicknamed 'bumblebee' and b) as a child he played with things called 'velvet ants' "which when I picked them up I discovered were - OUCH - wingless bees."

Tuesday, April 15, 2003
They're repeating The Bee Inspector on BBC Radio 4, because it's only short and fits into the space after the lunchtime news which has been extended for The War. I missed it today - well it was on, but I was titting about on the internet and not paying attention - but yesterday I listened to it all, and learned something new: the mechanism by which bees become drowsy in smoke. It's not the smoke itself that makes them sluggish, it's the fact that they have an instinct to gobble up as much honey and pollen from the hive as they can in case the smoke is a forest fire (in the wild they usually live in hollow tree trunks) and they need to abandon the hive. This makes them preoccupied and bloated so they're far less concerned if you go bashing about their hive inspecting them or nicking their honey or whatever.

According to this week's Heat magazine (which I read avidly every week, with a mild sense of shame), Celine Dion was chased down a street in Las Vegas by "a swarm of angry bees", but a passer-by distracted the bees by throwing orange juice. Why are bees always described as "angry"? I'd have thought these ones were more gleefully menacing. I would be if I was chasing Celine Dion and attempting to sting her. And I wouldn't let juice get in my way, I'd sting her RIGHT ON THE LARYNX.

Saturday, March 22, 2003
oh this is getting silly. Buzz! Bark! Bark buzz! Buzzark!

This is definitely the gayest beedog I've seen so far.

Well I suppose if you look hard enough, eventually you will actually find a person dressed as a bee, riding a dog. I shouldn't be surprised by now, but I still find this deeply, deeply odd.

hahaha - dogs are taking over this blog! here are some snacks for dogs, described as "Barks mores - 5 honey flavored sandwich biscuits filled with meringue and carob, in ribbon tied bee print cellophane bag." Fucking americans.

Wow, this dog-dressed-as-bee thing is more popular than i thought...

I like this dog - it looks stupid.

Dog! Bee! Dog chase bee! Hopefully bee will sting dog.

I am a member of a really quite marvellous file-swapping site, mostly populated by Glaswegians. Someone from that site just sent me this:

"You want a bee story? Ok, I was was quite ambivilent towards bees for years as I had never been stung and was often to be found as a kid with a Baker* in my hand. Anyway in this story I'm 24 and work the breakfast shift in the Thistle Street Sandwich Bar, it's 6.15 in November and I'm waiting for the bus on Gorgie Road. I feel something fall down the neck of my jacket, you guessed it a bee! The fucker stung me at the bus stop with other tired and grumpy people looking at me like I'm having a fit cos something has stung me in the back of the neck. because I had never been stung before and due to the proximity to my spinal cord I awaited anaphlactic shock. Ok it never came, but bees and me parted company on that fatefull morn. *Bakers are the kindly bumble bees with honey coloured bums that have no stingers."

It's a beekeeping dog!

Friday, March 21, 2003
My lovely wife just found this...

Thursday, March 20, 2003
On the popbitch messageboard, people are always going "zzzz" to one another's posts to prove what ennui-ridden decadent media whores they are. Today though, someon posted "ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ" apropos of absolutely nothing, and, well...

punkgirl, 14:29 20/3, Reply

Early in the year for a bee!
asterix, 14:30 20/3, Reply

Wednesday, March 19, 2003
From the Darwin Awards, about people who have met stupid ends:

(23 September 2002, Brazil) A farm keeper from São Paulo decided to remove a beehive from his orange tree. He didn't know exactly how to proceed, but he knew the hive should be burned, and he knew bees sting. So he protected his head with a plastic bag sealed tightly around his neck, grabbed a torch, and went off to fight the bees.
His worried wife went to look for him a few hours later, and found him dead. However, it wasn't the bees that killed him. The plastic bag had protected him from smoke, stingers, and... oxygen! He had forgotten to put breathing holes in the bag.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003
On an internet message board me and my friends were finding pictures of dogs that could represent each of us, and someone called Freshkid said this was me:

Friday, February 28, 2003
First bee of the year! I was just out jogging, pondering my lack of money and worrying about whether I'd make it through the big weekend-long drugrave festival i'm off to shortly, and a big bumblebee almost flew into me.

Friday, January 31, 2003
A coincidence. A small one but a coincidence nonetheless: my wife didn't know I was restarting this blog after a long break, but simultaneously that I was posting that Radio 4 thing (below), she celebrated the fact that she is going to posh Nobu restaurant by typing thusly on our favourite messageboard:

N to the O tothe BEE
to the U.
by moggy (Member 31309) on 31-Jan-03

BBC Radio 4 has a new series called The Bee Inspector starting this sunday at 14.45 GMT. I am excited.

They say:

"Who do you call when your bees stop buzzing or the honey goes off? Why, the Bee Inspector of course.

"He may be the man from the Ministry, but David Kemp is the saviour of many a bee-keeper. What's more he's full of fascinating facts about these extraordinary little creatures and how they live. But does he get stung often?"

then they show some hives:

Wednesday, September 11, 2002
here is a conversation from a chat board on that internet earlier today:

If you could ride any creature... by Look out! A skellington! (Member 92504) on 11-Sep-02
...what creature would you ride? n.b. do not include creatures that can already be ridden, like horses.

Re: If you could ride any creature... by buddha_fingers (Member 64349) on 11-Sep-02
A tiger down oxford st in the January sales. It would have a gilt saddle and I'd half a half naked valkyrie on the back...

Re: If you could ride any creature... by the pine marten (Member 90757) on 11-Sep-02
a big white polar bear. With a golden hat.

Re: If you could ride any creature... by lobeck (Member 90674) on 11-Sep-02
A cat, so I can hear its bone structure flatten

Re: If you could ride any creature... by Look out! A skellington! (Member 92504) on 11-Sep-02
Very prog. I've always fancied riding a pig myself. Maybe a wily bee.

Re: If you could ride any creature... by buddha_fingers (Member 64349) on 11-Sep-02
I'm sure you've ridden a few in your time *ting*

Re: If you could ride any creature... by Look out! A skellington! (Member 92504) on 11-Sep-02
I've not fucked a bee in years! How dare you!? I only lick their pollen sacs.

Re: If you could ride any creature... by buddha_fingers (Member 64349) on 11-Sep-02
Shut it, you stinking bee fucker...

Re: If you could ride any creature... by da bomb! (Member 31373) on 11-Sep-02
Rob Lowe - in a leather harness and shiny wet-look posing pouch.

Re: If you could ride any creature... by Look out! A skellington! (Member 92504) on 11-Sep-02
He's a live one. You could have trouble staying on.

Re: If you could ride any creature... by lordvenger (Member 31298) on 11-Sep-02
Either Ursa Major, the star bear, or a stag with a hammock between it's antlers

Re: If you could ride any creature... by the pine marten (Member 90757) on 11-Sep-02
half a half? half a half? I can I can't? BF is Tubbs.

Monday, August 05, 2002
There was a yellow and black bumblebee buzzing against the inside window of my excellent Brighton friends' window today. One of them (who I was asking to be photographed being a breakdancing punk) rescued the bee using a glass and beermat, and let it fly free. It's getting towards autumn time now, so the bee will have a hard time - not as hard a time as it was giving itself by banging its head against the window, though.

Friday, August 02, 2002
I got a job at a major magazine recently. I went to my first meeting of contributors today, and someone claimed that there is a genuine scientific plan to create an off-earth power station as big as the moon, run by nano-bots based on bees. I shall look into this.

Bee-attack victim tells boyfriend, 'I love you,' dies
TUCSON - A woman who was stung at least 80 times by swarming bees was able to tell her boyfriend she loved him just before dying in the attack.
Trying to fend off the thousands of bees, Cheryl McClain and Ted Richard ran toward their home. They sprayed themselves with water and tore at their clothes, Richard told the Arizona Daily Star from his hospital bed.
Finally, he said, McClain looked at him and said, "I love you, Ted."

Thursday, August 01, 2002
bee badge!

Tuesday, June 25, 2002
gosh, someone on an asian-american chat board noted my bee loving (not difficult, as I am registered as Captain Beeheart) and posted this link to a recipe for 'bee sting cake' - http://www.joyofbaking.com/BeeSting.html

I clicked it very gingerly, thinking it would involve killing hundreds of bees for the tang of their stings, which would make me sad. It doesn't.

Thursday, May 16, 2002
The young woman presenting Newsround on Childrens' BBC was just wearing a teeshirt advertising the Bee Meadow School.

Thursday, April 25, 2002
I must hurry - it's the advert break in the Simpsons. Bart was just asking for Grandpa's advice - he asked him if he ever had a crush on an older woman. "I had a crush on the OLDEST woman" replied Grandpa. "120 years old she was... but she fell in with that Guinness Book Of Records crew, never had any time for me after that. Darn it, I wore a 15lb beard of bees for that woman." And he pulled a photo from his pocket showing his bee-beard. It was great.

this is a stinger

and this is a sting

today is peurile day, I think
a joke:

Q. What kind of bees make milk?


And oh my goodness, here's a bee's cock!

Male genitalia of B. ruderarius
from the dorsal (left) and
ventral (right) aspects.

Monday, April 22, 2002
Here's someone's doodles of bees' knees:

I saw a honey bee today. It was buzzing insistently round a tiny pine tree in someone's front garden. No flowers there. Silly bugger.

Saturday, April 20, 2002
I have seen lots of bumble bees now this year, though only one honey bee. A particularly memorable bumble bee flew over me at East Dulwich station last week then spiralled off upwards above the railway embankment; I imagined being it, and suddenly was able to see the 3-dimensional topography of the embankment and the tyre yards and scrubland around it far more clearly as I imagined moving through space above the area.

I saw the biggest bee I've ever seen today as I was walking from my house into Brighton to have honey and lemon crepes for breakfast from the wonderful new cheap organic pancake stall next to Klik Klik Whirly Beep Beep (a record shop) in the North Laine area. I was just walking past the back garden of the Hobgoblin pub with my somewhat gothic flatmate and his girlfriend, who has influenced him in looking a bit smarter and dying his silly pink hair black again. The bumble bee was easily an inch long, but I didn't get a proper look at it because it flew very fast up through the Hobgoblin garden and over the roofs toward St Peters church. I'm certain it was a bumble bee and not a hornet or something, because it was distinctly round and hairy.

My lovely girlfriend, now fiancée, saw two bees the day before yesterday. One buzzed up and circled in front of her face a couple of times, then a few paces later she saw what appeared to be a dead one on the pavement. She thought of me and felt a little sad for the bee.

I saw some 'poppers' or butyl nitrate, which is sold in punky clothes shops as "room odourizer", today. It was called 'buzz' and had a picture of a big bee on it. I didn't buy it though.

Saturday, April 13, 2002
My excellent friend Lee who is a great artist has designed some superb invites for my wedding, in which my fiancee and I are represented by a cat and a bee respectively. I will post it here as soon as I can be bothered to host it on the web. That doesn't mean you're necessarily invited to my wedding, mind!

There's a man with a Bee beard in the newspaper today. On the programme "Home Truths" on the radio this morning, which is where people write in with little details of their lives, there was a story about a beekeeper who gave his friend a whole hive of bees, wrapped in polythene so they couldn't escape. They put it in a car and went to the shops. When they got back the bees had escaped the polythene and filled the car. Fortunately the man had his beekeeper hat in the boot, and he put it on and drove home, where he took the hive out. While he was driving he scared many drivers with the sight of a hooded man in a bee-filled car.

Monday, January 28, 2002
Someone called, variously, Mr Stu Pitaus and Johnny Dishes just told me this story on Yahoo messenger...

johnnydishes: my mother
johnnydishes: has a father
johnnydishes: he had brothers
johnnydishes: one of those brothers
johnnydishes: was a bee farmer
muggsdemon: an apiarist
johnnydishes: is that what a bee farmer is?
muggsdemon: yes
johnnydishes: sweet
johnnydishes: so this was back in the day a bit
muggsdemon: aye
johnnydishes: so
johnnydishes: hes an apiarist
johnnydishes: and
johnnydishes: he loved his bees
johnnydishes: and his bees loved him
muggsdemon: all good
johnnydishes: all good
johnnydishes: he would have bees on him
johnnydishes: and they would journey with him throughout his daily activities
johnnydishes: he would keep one on his shoulder and pet it
johnnydishes: with a finger of course
johnnydishes: sweet isnt it
johnnydishes: well
johnnydishes: life was grand
johnnydishes: until one day
johnnydishes: an accident happened on the farm
johnnydishes: he was doing some sort of farm chore
muggsdemon: eep!
johnnydishes: and a horse got freaked out
johnnydishes: not sure whos farm or whos horse
johnnydishes: but
johnnydishes: the apiarist
johnnydishes: was killed by a kick to the head
johnnydishes: by the horses back hoof
johnnydishes: tragic
muggsdemon: oh dear
johnnydishes: yah
johnnydishes: sad
johnnydishes: but
johnnydishes: the day of the funeral
muggsdemon: mmm
johnnydishes: nobody could read the tombstone
johnnydishes: or see it
johnnydishes: cause all of his
johnnydishes: bees
muggsdemon: no!
muggsdemon: crikey
johnnydishes: had gathered on to it
johnnydishes: my mom has the photo

Thursday, January 24, 2002
My ex-girlfriend gave me some honeycomb in honey at Christmas, from the french town where she lives while she writes a science fiction novel. Unfortunately it turned black and started smelling all fermented before I could eat any.

Odd stuff from a USA kindergarten teacher...

"Super Bee goes home with well-behaved students. Those are students who listen and follow directions. They are also kind, careful and caring in everything they do!"

"Here is a picture showing Super Bee in love!"

If I may for a moment cast myself as Super Bee, then that picture is quite appropriate. For I too am very much in love: so much so, in fact, that I am marrying my girlfriend who found me the blue bees with whiskery white moustaches. There will be some bees in our wedding ceremony, I'm sure, as the first part of it is going to take place in a lovely Quaker meeting house with a big garden in early July - a time and place where at which bees are normally numerous.

Lady Mary Archer, wife of fraudulent author and blag-fiend Jeffrey was on Radio 4's chat show Midweek yesterday, and admitted to eating deep-fried bumblebees at a Japanese Banquet.


I, Melissa Long Shuter found a broken tailed, sad eyed dispondent black puppy at the KY Humane Society in March 1994. After a long wait of one week filled with visits to the little puppy named Melba, I finnaly was able to take the little black puppy home.

First things first, Melba was renamed Bee. Bee is short for honeybee. Melissa in greek means honeybee. Noting that I did not want to call the dog "Honey," she was named Bee.

Taking puppy leave, I spent the first week at home with Bee, sharing every moment. Within a week Bee, at 11 weeks old, was sitting, laying down, and staying on both verbal and with signed (ASL) commands. "Wow, that was easy," is what I thought. Then came the puppy teen-age years.

"Good Owners, Great Dogs," by Brian Kilcommons guided me during the adolecent days of Bee-dog. Dog psychology 101, this book explains life from a dog's perspective and how as humans we can live together happily.

In August of 1997 Paul Shuter and I were married. It took Bee a bit of time to get used to a new owner in her life. Bee was Paul's first dog. Paul was Bee's first live-in male companion. Together the three of us learn new things about each other daily!

Currently, three and a half years after the adoption, Paul, Bee and I are living happily in Germantown. The family, including Bee, is still learning sign (ASL), playing frisbee, and enjoying life together. Paul and I have decided to model our behavior after Bee, for she is always happy to see us, always forgiving, full of energy and genuinly a pleasant creature.

The world would be a happier place if we were all more like Bee.


a website which appears to be for children contains this statement: (5) HOW DOES THIS BEE FEEL REMEMBER TO ANSWER IN CODE

pertaining to this bee:

which appears to be called a "real-feel bee", judging by the title of the picture file, so I suppose the answer (not in code) would be "real".

If you have a dog and want it to take revenge on bee-kind for their actions (see below), you could buy it one of these to chew:

Or you could if they hadn't been discontinued.

OK, let's re-start with this...

Africanized bee stingers embedded in the area surrounding the dog's closed right eye. The stingers, which appear as tan bits of tissue, consist of barbed lancets, the venom reservoir, sting muscles, and the terminal nerve ganglion.

"Local authorities exterminated the bees, and the animal was taken to a local veterinary clinic where it was pronounced dead and was frozen. About 200 dead bees remained in the animal's fur, with 14 in the oral cavity, six in the stomach, and one under each closed eyelid. No bees were found in the trachea or bronchi; the dog's nares were too narrow to allow bee entry.
"The frozen dog was taken to the Carl Hayden Bee Research Center where stingers embedded in the dog's skin and mouth were removed with No. 5 forceps and counted. To accomplish this task, the coat over the dog's head and ears was carefully parted, and the skin was searched using fingers and forceps, a task that took more than 17 hours. The success rate of this sting discovery method was estimated to be about 98% based on a reexamination of areas that had already been searched. The coat on much of the rest of the body was long, making it difficult for us to continue examining in this manner, and too few stings were discovered to merit the time investment. Instead, 5-x-5-cm samples of fur in each of the main body areas bilaterally were clipped to within 5 mm of the skin; the skin in these areas was examined and the number of stings counted. The counts were then extrapolated over the entire body area to estimate the number of stings in that area.
"The area from the tip of the nose dorsally and laterally back to the eyes and including the lips received the most stings by far. The maximum number of stings recorded was more than 7.8/CM2 on the skin near the nose and 6.1/cm2 on the eyelids (Figure 1). The areas posterior to the eyes, including the ears, received few stings compared with the eyes and muzzle. Many stings were also found inside the oral cavity, mostly on the tongue. Overall, the dog received 2,460 stings to the head or about 1.8 stings/cm2. The remainder of the dog's body had fewer stings, with an estimated total of 845 stings, or 5% as many per unit area as delivered to the head."

it's horrible and it's here

Saturday, December 22, 2001
OK, this bee diary will back up in the new year. (I found the pocket book, by the way)

Sunday, September 30, 2001
I have in my mind memories of all the bee-related happenings that were recorded in my little pocket book, and come daylight hours I will be able to access several of them, so this site will be OK.

OK, I must apologise to everyone who has been waiting with baited breath for a new bee post. Uncharacteristically for me, there has been a lot of busyness going on, and I have been more concerned with the flesh and blood world than with the E-tastic Weird Wired World. Tonight I had to take a schizopheric person home and talk her down, and then deal with a lads' card game for the first time, with concurrent secreting of cards. On the way home I realised my wallet was missing, so I ran back to the venue of the lads' card game, where my wallet was returned complete with cash. Upon getting home I discovered that my little pocket book, in which I had been keeping notes of all bee related happenings, was missing. I don't think I took it out with me this evening, I don't know. That's all.

Wednesday, August 29, 2001
my mum heard a thing on a Radio Norfolk phone-in from an old lady who'd found a bee with its wings missing. She was feeding it on sugar water, and had given it a name, although my mum couldn't remember the name. I am trying to get in touch with Radio Norfolk to find out what has happened to the poor wingless bee.

Friday, August 17, 2001
Ah, here we go - the queen honeybee doesn't look like Jabba The Hutt:

"Anatomically, the queen is strikingly different from the drones and workers. Her body is long, with a much larger abdomen than a worker bee. Her mandibles, or jaws, contain sharp cutting teeth, whereas her offspring have toothless jaws. The queen has a curved, smooth stinger that she can use repeatedly without endangering her own life. The queen bee lacks the working tools possessed by worker bees, such as pollen baskets, beeswax-secreting glands, and a well-developed honey sac. Her larval food consists almost entirely of a secretion called royal jelly that is produced by worker bees. The average lifespan of the queen is one to three years."

this and the thing about Bee products below are from here

Honey bees also produce propolis, a gummy substance made from tree sap that has antibacterial properties, and royal jelly and pollen for human consumption. Honey bee venom is extracted for the production of antivenom therapy and is being investigated as a treatment for several serious diseases of the muscles, connective tissue, and immune system, including multiple sclerosis and arthritis.

Is there no end to the helpfulness of bees, eh?

Ooh, I like the look of this. If I have children they will only be allowed to read this and Ant And Bee.

and again from my girlfriend who has bees in her head:

"Today I saw a lady with a fabric shopping bag. It had
smiling cartoon bees all over it. One of the bees was
wearing a skirt and a crown. The queen bee. But real
queen bees just look like enormous jabba-the-hut style
larvae don’t they?

"The lady also had a tooled leather bum-bag. She looked
quite fierce and very church of england. I imagine her
sitting on committees and baking cakes."

I think she might be wrong about the Jabba The Hut queen bees. I think that's termites she's thinking of, and that queen bees are just like big bees. It's quite shameful that I don't know that, but it's all part of the bee learning process.

ahaaa... the british beekeping association!

Thursday, August 16, 2001
Eep - my girlfriend is putting me to shame in finding bee facts. She has a job, you see, and gets bored, whereas I sit on my arse in my bedroom listening to silly music all day and don't get bored. She has found these two ace things:

Bee with white whiskery moustache! from

The Blue Bee

The Blue Orchard Bee is only 2/3 the size of the honey
bee, that is approximately 1/2 of an inch. It is
black with a shiny blue metallic patch on its back and
has, just as the honey bee does, a double wing on each
side of its body. It has been noted that the blue bee
has been mistaken for a house fly and killed. It can
be distinguished from that of a house fly by it's
wings; it has a pair of wings on both side where a
house fly has one wing. The male Blue even sports a
white, whiskery moustache.

From the island of anguilla comes

Swarms of angry honey bees recently stung teachers and
students at the Albena Lake-Hodge Comprehensive School
to take an unscheduled one day holiday.

The school was closed after attempts recently by staff
at the Department of Agriculture to bring the bees
under control were largely unsuccessful.

A number of teachers and students sustained stings and
had to be treated at the Princess Alexandra Hospital.

Director of Agriculture, Mr Leslie V Richardson, was
hopeful that the problem would have been brought under
control by the end of May 12, 1998.

He noted that a number of bees had been captured while
the majority were being destroyed.

According to reports, the honey bees have been
inhabiting certain sections of the roofs of the school
since 1995 when Hurricane Luis destroyed a number of
hives at the Department of Agriculture

Wednesday, August 15, 2001
Woooh - this stirs up very early childhood memories and no mistake.

Monday, August 13, 2001
again from Aussie Melissa:

this fellow is the logo of b105fm, a country and western radio station from Cincinnati Ohio. There is an even nicer animation of him spitting out words, but I can't make it work on this blog as it is a Flash animation. The radio station's site is at b105fm.com, but you can't listen to it there, annoyingly.

My girlfriend found this on a UK bee discussion forum (I'm not sure of the address):

Bee parasites?
From: johnmaskell@compuserve
Date: 5/5/01
Time: 7:01:25 PM
Remote Name:

I have just found a large bumble bee (2-3cm) on my
lawn, seemingly writhing in discomfort. When I picked
it up it had a small bee (5 - 6 mm) attached to its
side. The large bee was trying to dislodge the small
bee with its leg but the small bee was very tenacious.
It appeared to be attacking the much bigger bee. We
finally separated the two and the large bee flew away.
The small bee is in a jam jar. Anyone know what it is
or what was happening? Not a bee-keeper or know
anything about them

I seem to have thoroughly infected her mind, as she was dreaming about bees the other night - she dreamed that she walked past what appeared to be a posh kids' "Montefiore-type" school, and outside were the remnants of a street party, and a beekeeper/caretaker was there with his rectangular beehives suspended from ropes - she considered this unusual, thinking that the standard beehive is the round michelin-man-resembling one seen in old pictures. She then thought she had walked into a dead end but someone showed her the way through the wall. She told me this as we were walking into Forest Hill in South London to get a coffee after visiting a museum (which had no bees in it); I was just explaining to her that most beehives are box-like in construction now, to allow rectangular frames of honeycomb to easily be lifted in and out of the hive, when a honeybee came and buzzed around our faces a few times. I remarked that it might be spying or eavesdropping on this conversation, and that by such careless talk I may have alerted the bees to humans' honey-harvesting techniques. I didn't really mean it though. Then we walked past a fish and chip shop called Bee's, but she wasn't impressed because we both needed the toilet and were getting short-tempered. Shortly after this, back in Dulwich, we saw a bush with both bumblebees and honeybees on, so I was able to clearly demonstrate the differences between them. We had been to the toilet, in a pub, by then, so were both more able to concentrate on the bees.

another gif file nicked from Aussie Melissa's Hunnybee.com site:

On Friday last I was really not with it - I thought I saw a bee outside a newsagent where I had just bought a newspaper for my train journey (though I had promised myself I wouldn't, and that I would finish reading the manuscript of my grandpa's pharmaceutical satire novel which I have had in my posession for ages), but it kept zipping around in my peripheral vision, and I never quite saw it clearly enough to even say whether it was a bumble or honey bee. Two minutes later I walked straight past the turning for Brighton Preston Park Station, despite having been there many many times before, and carried on bumbling (sorry) along for almost 10 minutes until I found myself right on the edge of town and turned back. It was doubly depressing because the walk took me past a housing development where a couple of years back I had been to a the party of lots of sporty rich kids in absolutely disastrous circumstances involving influenza, a witch, lucky lighters, mystery tablets, a collapsing relationship and non-specific urethritis - which has recently recurred, requiring me to take antibiotics which have rendered me really dozy, hence my inability to spot either the bee or the station. Anyway, when I came back from London I got off the train at Preston Park, and walked home, which obviously made me think of the aforementioned events... this reminded me of not-quite-seeing a bee, and just at this moment I glimpsed a bee, spun round to try and see it better and noticed a sign for "Beehive Under-5s Nursery" just opposite where I had thought I'd seen a bee 4 days earlier.

Wednesday, August 08, 2001

Bee's Knees

2 ounces gin

1/2 ounce lime juice

2 barspoons honey

Shake ingredients with cracked ice; strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

the picture for this may disappear soon as it is a cocktail of the week here

Bee's Kiss

For late summer flus that have more to do with the passing dog days than one's actual health, we order this cocktail, the closest libation to a summer toddy that we've found. But unlike its warm winter counterparts, the Bee's Kiss is a cool, comforting restorative - perfect for fancied pathos.

This heirloom of the speakeasy - with its 1 ounce white rum, 1/4 ounce dark rum, 3/4 ounces cream, and 2 barspoons honey, shaken and strained into a cocktail glass before a dusting of nutmeg - rarely stings, though in the '40s Trader Vic insisted it did.

For us, the cream in the Bee's Kiss makes one - maybe two - just enough, which may be why we've avoided any regrets about this drink, likening it more to the "bee's kiss" of Robert Browning's poetry. Those risqué Victorians generally took the term to mean tickling a loved one with your eyelashes. We can only imagine that's why Utah considered the honeybee chaste enough to sanction as its state insect.

Years ago, Native Americans called the imported bees "flies of the white man." Occasionally, we'll come across old-time mixers who'll make reference to this cocktail as either the "Fly's Kiss" or the "Fly's Nectar." Although impressed by their presumed historical trivia, we may change orders or even bars on the basis of the imagery. Dr. Charles Hogue, in his Cultural Entomology, says the Bee's Kiss is linked to its namesake only by its distinctive flavor.

Charles H. Baker - who surely sipped more than a few Bee's Kisses and undoubtedly enjoyed its gin-based predecessor, the Bee's Knees - made honey a requirement at the bar: "This man-stolen product of the bee's industry, in its strained state, is useful now and then in special cocktails. A small, cup-size, covered porcelain or china container should be on every thoroughgoing bar."

During the summer, we still come across these nearly forgotten containers at fine establishments. A bartender may tout Trader Vic's silly precept that "after too many of these you'll get hold of the wrong end of the bee" before shaking one up for us, but we know we'll still be better and more accepting of the fall season ahead after a Bee's Kiss or two.

I can't remember if I've mentioned this before... but I was reminded today of 2 of my favourite bee-related songs: the mournfully psychedelic Chasing A Bee by Mercury Rev (off their first album, Yerself Is Steam) and Free The Bee by Melt Banana which is precision shouty Japanese noise-punk. I don't really know if this counts, but the acid bassline Try Again by Aaliyah and Timbaland sounds like a gang of big shitting bees made of mercury.

I have been listening to episodes of the wonderful Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy radio series that I have downloaded via Audiogalaxy, and was very happy to be reminded of the moment that Ford Prefect accuses Arthur Dent of having "about as much grasp of multi-temporal causality as a concussed bee". What a lovely twangy turn of phrase the late Douglas Adams had.

I saw 2 bees today. One was bothering bald men on platforms 5 and 6 of London Bridge station, as I waited for a train back to Brighton. The other was supping from a lavender bush in Brighton. They were both big fat bumblebees. I found out from the Readers Digest at my girlfriend's mum's house that bumblebees don't die when they sting. This is because their nests only have a couple of hundred bees in, whereas honeybees live 40,000+ to a hive, so are more expendible as individuals.

Friday, August 03, 2001
My girlfriend is too cool - she just found this for me:

Those who are familiar with Arabic will easily be able to identify what this beehive spells - "Allah(swt)".

Uugh. Popbitch.com message board is turning into a discussion about animal cruelty, and someone just posted this:

"I once put 10 bees in a jar and watched them die. 4 years later aged 10 I dreamt that 10 bees put me in a jar and watched me die. My parents couldn't understand why I was so upset..."

Needless to say, I put them in their place.

Monday, July 30, 2001
I put my email address on this site for the first time yesterday, and straight away got a mail from a lady in Australia called Melissa BEE. She has this website which is all about Melissas and bees, and which now has edited highlights from this Blog.

it expands on the Melissa/bee connection:

"The name Melissa is derived from Greek mythology. Melissa was a nymph that cared for the infant Zeus while he was being hidden from his father, the king of the gods. Melissa plundered bee hives in order to feed honey to Zeus, who developed a permanent sweet tooth. When Melissa's role in protecting Zeus was discovered, she was turned into some lowly species of insect. Zeus later took pity on her and turned her into a honeybee, which is forever involved with making honey. (Parenthetical note: if Zeus had meant to do Melissa a favor, why didn't he turn her back into a nymph instead?)"

and has other stuff on it, like this:

Eek! I've just found out that bees have five eyes! It was the answer to a question on Eamonn Holmes's BBC1 quiz show last week, but I kind of discounted it because I distrust the jovial but dim-seeming Irish light entertainment host. I just looked it up on Google, however, and...

"How many eyes do you think a bee has? Two you say? No, actually, bees have five eyes in all. No, this isn't a trick question. On top of their head are three simple eyes, known as ocelli, arranged in a triangular pattern. These simple eyes with a single lens are best for informing the bee of changes in light intensity. These ocelli help them navigate around flowers and getting to and from the nest at dawn and dusk."


"Worker honey bees also have eyes that are divided up into two great ellipses on opposite sides of their head. Each compound eye is made up of about 6,900 individual units/facets packed tightly together as hexagons and known as ommatidia. Each ommatidium is able to capture light rays from a small angle of view. These rays are focused by several lenses onto light sensitive pigment. Once stimulated, these sensory cells pass along nervous impulses coding information on the quality of the light (its wavelength = visible color and plane of polarization) to the optic nerves which eventually reach the optic lobes of the honey bees' brain."

more on how bees see the world

Two bees (or maybe the same bee twice) came and buzzed round my face yesterday as we sat under Brighton's West Pier. Then my friend jumped naked from the pier into the sea. A little later a man came out of the sea in snorkelling gear with a knife and harpoon: he had a lobster dangling between his legs and 3 mullet fish on his belt. We bought a mullet for £2, and took it to my friends' house where my girlfriend filled it with lemon, rosemary, garlic and parsley. It was fantastic - I've never had such fresh fish before.

Sunday, July 29, 2001
My skinny flatmate saw an enormous bumblebee struggling to fly off the pavement yesterday. I wonder if it was overcome by the heat - it's been over 30 degrees for the last few days. Oh, and he (my flatmate, not the bumblebee) saw an episode of the Simpsons-resembling sitcom Malcom In The Middle which featured bees very heavily.

My naked girlfriend was just pestering me to get a book on fractals out from under my computer monitor (the monitor is propped up on a pile of big books to save me from getting a cricked neck whilst playing with my computer). This meant me having to hold my desk-lamp between my knees (getting a small electric shock into the process), while girlfriend lifted up the monitor and I reached around her to get the book. It was all worthwhile in the end though because the book had a picture of some mites swimming in the trachea of a bee. I then looked up "bee", "trachea" and "mites" on the Google search engine, and found this picture:

It's not quite as clear and pretty as the picture in the book, but never mind, eh? It's from a site dedicated to the Hamilton Menthol Board:

"Tracheal mites are too small to be seen by the naked eye. To detect them, you would need a microscope and laboratory facilities.

"Tracheal mites make for bad wintering, poor honey production, and decreased bee vigor. Winter mortality may be indicated by a fairly sudden collapse of colonies, especially in the snow immediately in front of the hives as the bees crawl out, loaded with fecal matter, with an abundance of honey left inside the hive. (1)

"Therefore, it is important to test and be aware of any tracheal mite infestation in your hives.

"Menthol has proven to be an effective treatment for tracheal mite control. The menthol needs to vaporize inside the hive to be effective. Various forms of treating with menthol have been developed. Crystals may be introduced into the hives, loose on the bottom board, placed on a towel over the brood nest, or put into a paper bag with holes punched in and hung on a frame. Temperatures need to be above 70 F (21 C) for the menthol to vaporize and be effective.

"Some beekeepers treat mites with vegetable oil. This reduces the ability of the mite to find young hosts and spread.

"Our method is to combine the two. Menthol dissolved in vegetable oil provides the best of both treatments."

This all seems very sensible. The picture was taken by C.Peng, by the way. More info

Thursday, July 26, 2001
By the use of the incredible Audiogalaxy I have downloaded some fantastic songs that involve bees. Me And The Bees by The Softies is a very cute wafty drippy indie acoustic ballad. Another Set Of Bees In The Museum by Olivia Tremor Control is quite mad fuzzy but lush lo-fi melodic stuff, a bit like the stranger and rockier late Beatles songs. Green Velvet is one of my favourite techno producers, so it was nice to see that he has done a track called Killer Bees, and even nicer to find out that it's one of his finest ever - really disorientating with (of course) lots of aggressive buzzing sounds zooming accross the stereo field. Thank God For The Worker Bees by Botch is great hardcore / metal, really grindy with crazy timing and a lot of the singer screaming "That's whyyyy we diiiie, destrooooy, destrooooy!!". The Bees by Belly is classic well-produced US indie stuff, but doesn't seem to have any reference to bees in the lyrics; there is a bit of a buzzing guitar sound in the choruses though.

"Vicci stung by bee" (written late at night, and drunk)

"At nursery school when I was aboot 5. I picked up a perpol South African flower called a Jackerander. As I looked inside the flower, the second I realised there was a bee in it, the buger stung me + I felt guilty for desterbing it, and sore."

Tuesday, July 24, 2001
My lovely girlfriend gave me a matchbox from the trendy Social bar in central London, and it has blurry bees on their honeycomb printed all over it.

Someone called Bigmum just sent me this...

Which is superb, as graffiti is one of my favourite things after bees.

Tuesday, July 10, 2001
the nice man in the Scoop'n'weigh shop doesn't like honey at all.


"The bee is an ancient symbol signifying someone on The Path towards self-realization. It was used because of the 'buzz' in the ears that occurs as one develops Mind to tune in to (vibrate at) higher and higher frequencies."

(sounds like new age nonsense to me)

someone has some vague bee information:

"I think bees were some sort of Napoleonic symbol with connection to much earlier European ideological/political currents.

"That's it. There's some mention of them (bees plus Napoleon and Merovingians) in the book entitled 'Holy Blood, Holy Grail'. Can't, however, recall anything more specific.

"I've been informed by another source that bee's wax was thought by the Stonehenge builders to have special properties relating to flight."

Crowely examined the Tarot in The Book of Thoth. Of the Empress card he said "She combines the highest spiritual with the lowest material qualities". Crowley identifies the Empress as the "Great Mother", and indeed on her robe are bees, the traditional symbol of Cybele. Crowley is not alone in the belief that different cultures give different names to the same deities. The worship of Cybele goes back to at least 3,000 B.C. She entered Greek culture as Artemis and to the Romans was Diana, the huntress. Crowley also identified the Empress with the Hindu goddess Shakti, and the Egyptian goddesses Isis and Hathor. Crowley directly identified Isis with Diana. More usually, Crowley called the Empress by the name Babalon.

Monday, July 09, 2001
Tonight my friend described the recorded output of the band Foetus thus: "Like the Beach Boys produced by a gang of angry metal bees". The thing is, he already knew about my bee obsession... this makes me incredibly paranoid - now I cannot trust anything anyone says in case they are tailoring it to fit with my bee obsession. Damn.

My friend's parents sell honey. You can get it from 4 Quarry Hollow, Headington, Oxford.

Wow! Look at this:

you can go to their website and download their jingle (it's very quick to download) which I feel may actually be the greatest piece of music in the history of the western world... all together now: "yum yum bumblebee, bumblebee tuna - I love bumblebee, bumblebee tuna!"

Whilst I was at the SONAR festival in Barcelona someone sold me an ecstasy capsule that had black and yellow stripes. A mere couple of minutes later I sat down to read the Jockey Slut magazine (one of the few good music magazines around in my not-so-humble opinion), to see them using "bumblebees" as rhyming slang for "E's". I like coincidences. I think the context was that they were talking about Missy 'Misdemeanour' Elliot and her advocacy of ecstasy use, and they said something like "imagine her coming at you when you're on the bumblebees - shudder", which I thought a little needlessly cruel. But then I'm sure Missy can handle herself perfectly well without my sympathy.

The troll Anthony Worral-Thompson has "120,000 of the little fellers" in his orchard, and was on TV making a kind of Moroccan stew using their honey the other day.

A few weeks back I was on my way to a bee-related art exhibition at the South London Gallery, but I missed my stop and ended up in Camberwell. When I got out of the bus, directly across the road was a shop with a big sign on the front which said "Bee's Auto Bits - You won't get stung here". Then when I got to the gallery the exhibition wasn't on anyway, but I had seen something to do with bees, so wasn't too pissed off.

My favourite chatting place on the Internet has two banner adverts for different companies that each feature bees. One is for some kind of financial services but is not on there right now - it comes and goes - and the other is for "Musicbee", who have this ace picture on their site:

I am just a bit scared that someone has worked out that I might be a target market and put these bees where I spend a lot of time to sell me stuff.

Bees are havin' it!! Apparently the only people to benefit from the UK's foot'n'mouth crisis are beekeepers. The destruction of grazing animals and lack of trampling ramblers combined with the sunny weather has led to a resurgence of a huge variety of wild flowers, which allow the bees to make tastier and healthier honey - and more of it.

I stroked a bumblebee today! It was on a bush outside the doctor's surgery. It didn't seem to mind, and even started kicking one of its legs like a dog does when you scratch its back. Then I saw 2 bumblebee on some Jasmine on my way home. One was black and yellow, and the other one had a red arse.

I find this bee immensely appealing.

Oh yes, a bumblebee bashed against my living room window this morning. And I saw a documentary about Africanised Killer Bees yesterday but had drunk a lot of tequila, so couldn't take any of it in.

Sunday, July 08, 2001
There was a thing in New Scientist about a new method of data distribution... I can't find the issue now, but roughly speaking it took inspiration from the way that bees communicate with each other to make sure that all the flowers in the neighbourhood get efficiently visited, and it can for example send a vaccination programme for a new computer virus to computers right around the world faster and more effectively than the virus itself can spread. Bees are cool.

I have been give some great bee-related things. My brother has sent me for my birthday a real bee in a little bottle of formaldehyde (which he kindly warned me not to drink) - so it is almost but not quite a wet bee. I haven't named it yet. Oh, actually, I'll call it Sam, after my brother, because again that is a gender-ambivalent name. My landlord has given me a big box of vials of royal jelly, and I have started drinking them every morning. They taste quite almondy, and have "fructus schizandrae, radix codonopsis pilosulae and fructus lycii" in them as well as the jelly. These are apparently "Precious Chinese Herbs". My girlfriend bought me a furry bee that vibrates vigourously when you pull a string in its back; it has a cute face. Actually it's more flock than fur. And I have a bee poster. It was to advertise Age Concern (one of the few charities I've ever contributed to, coincidentally - I put on a club night called "ooh me bones" where the band and DJs dressed as OAPs and I shaved the middle of my head and wore terrible spectacles) - and features a close up of several honeybees on their comb.

I've found out where all the bumblebees are - they're all on one dog rose bush in the carpark of East Dulwich Sainsburys (and on the bush with tiny flowers next to it, but I'm not sure what that is. Thousands of bumblebees, seemingly in three different sizes.

The Golden Bumble, on the other hand, is a commercial sex toy shaped like a bumblebee that uses a pump and suction cup along with vibration to supposedly "simulate oral sex and massage your clit and labia." Perhaps it was the perturbing image of having a jelly bumblebee attached to my bits, but I had a hard time getting good suction and I found the vibration far too subtle through the jelly.

The stars freeze mid-twinkle over the eerily quiet streets, walked by people who firmly believe the night ended long ago. It's an unkind hour to be an accordion-playing transsexual in a bumblebee costume, trying to liven things up.

more info here

a kiddies gifts shop with not a very good logo.

I haven't updated this for ages... but be patient, I have a huge throbbing crate of bee-fact all ready to unload in your face. In the meantime you can tease a bee here

Friday, June 08, 2001
Someone called Beeyatch just posted this, with the following caption (Captain Beeheart is a name I have adopted):
Capt Bee_heart, realising that the world was ripe for taking over, moved his command ships to the centres of world power...

another one from my lovely queen bee:

Oh my god, it's gone bee-mental on Popbitch.com

Fly my pretties, fly!

A mad smoking boy in Wales has made this just for me - I feel blessed...

Hooray, the same person as found that fascistic bee below just found this, which may feasibly be the best thing in the world: