Thursday, June 08, 2006

Unbearable bee-ing

Some may find it odd that I am commenting on the plight of Bob the Beekeeper being reported by the AP today. Bob's beekeeping has allegedly run afoul of local zoning in Marshall Townwhip. Why would a city-dweller like me even notice this news? Bob actually helped me out last month. On a recent Sunday morning there was a swarm of honeybees that had come to roost in my backyard. It was a truly amazing sight. If you google "beekeper and Pittsburgh" you come up with Bob J's name (likely because of these legal travails) and his number was in the phone book. Bob couldn't use the bees, but he referred a fellow beekeeper who came right out and 'retrieved' them. He literally put a baited box next to this massive living ball of bees and with a little coaxing they all just walked right in. If you read up on the plight of the honeybee, there is something of a crisis in the country with the honeybee population declining precipitously. The problem is, without bees you don't get any polination for all the crops that make our food. So more power to Bob and his compatriots, for all we know they may be saving the food supply.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's something very resonant about your story. As swarms of people move to the exurbs, other hives move elsewhere. The consequences are always negligible at first. So maybe you ought to do a mashup historical map of people density and bee density over the past 100 years.

Also, how many bees do we need for the necessary pollination? Is there a biologist who could give us the answer?

I'm only partly joking. Considered from an Olympian perspective, the aforementioned statistics would probably be quite sobering.

Friday, June 09, 2006 1:53:00 PM  

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