I was chatting with a bear the other day and he asked what he thought would be a simple question: “What’s the deal with the bees?” I asked him to elucidate and he said that natural bee hives are getting harder to find in the wild, and the ones still around seem angrier than usual. Oh sure, bees have always hated bears for raiding the hive’s honey supply, but the bees these days seem bigger, madder, and more determined to drive the bears away. It’s getting to the point where it’s almost not worth the bother.
Oh crap. I really didn’t want to answer that question. But when a bear looks you in the eye and asks for an honest answer, you really need to give him one. So I took what I thought would be the easier one first: Africanized bees. Explaining that took some…well, explaining, I can tell you. The bear just couldn’t get his head around why anyone would want to make bees more territorial. So I tried to explain that was just a side-effect, and the bees weren’t s’posed to get out into the wild population. There was just this “oppsy” moment and then nature took over.
I was hoping he’d get so involved in that bit of twisted logic that he’d forget his other question, but it was not to be. So, as gently as I could, I explained how “collapsed hive syndrome” was caused by people over-using pesticides, which led me to mention GMO plants with built-in pesticides.
For a moment I thought the bear was going to explode. But then he calmed down, and shook his head. “It must really be awful to be a human,” he said. “Driven to ‘fix’ nature when it’s not even broken.”
Well, I couldn’t argue with that — and I wouldn’t have even tried if I could…