wet bee diary

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.