Monday, May 14, 2007

Displaced Penguin, still no bees

A field in Seattle; a huge flowering shrub at the West Coast Express station in Maple Ridge; the wildflowers and flowering cultivated plants downtown: I stop to inspect the flowers whenever I can, and not for aesthetic purposes. I am dying to see a honeybee. I am in a state of quiet panic about it - it's making me very paranoid.

I have seen one bee this year, to my recollection. It was a large black and yellow bumblebee, and it was crawling on the sidewalk, looking confused, like it would soon die. (Healthy bees generally prefer to fly; you don't often see them near-immobile on the pavement). Not only have I seen no bees, I have seen no hornets or wasps. Dandelions are already gone to seed, months early, but bees, hornets, and wasps seem to be almost completely absent. Whatever is causing colony collapse disorder, it's terrifying me (and yes, I have cracked "bee afraid, bee very afraid" jokes. They aren't funny anymore).

Meanwhile, here's my latest displaced animal note - a penguin 5000 miles from home. I am connecting the dots (which no one else is doing) and assuming that the vast number of animals that are losing their way and ending up where they shouldn't MAY be connected with the bees that are abandoning their hives, and that both may relate to some human interfence in the environment - whether it be raditation from cell phones or global warming or... hell, I don't know. There seems to be a new story like this every few weeks, often involving seagoing mammals - I've posted similar tales about seals and manatees in the past.

It totally fits my sense of things, that this would be the way the world ends - something no one even notices is going on until it is much too late.

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