Nothing to do with the novel by Sue Kidd, I often wonder about this secret life that bees have.
We had one flying around the house the other night…buzzing away it was trying to escape into the outside world and when it woke me at 4am that’s what got my mind working overtime….well after I’d finished cursing the noise it was making !
Firstly as an engineer I know that according to the laws of aerodynamics that Bumble Bees should be unable to fly. What this actually illustrates is man’s limited knowledge, sometimes foolish statements and nature’s inherent ability to throw us a curve ball now and again. Obviously the Bee didn’t study aerodynamics and thus flies anyway but that doesn’t answer the fact that it was ‘trapped’ inside our house at 4am.
I say trapped but the reason it got inside in the first place is numerous windows were open due to the fact it was very hot (yes we do occasionally get good weather even in the UK although to some 20 degrees may just qualify to be slightly above your ‘frost’ level).
Bees are attracted to pollen and so as we have no flowers in the house I wondered what it was doing there in the first place – perhaps it decided that it was a short cut back to the hive ?
Now bees are meant to be intelligent, they fly miles in order to collect pollen and then return fully laden back to the hive. There they do a little dance to give full directions to the other bees as to where this drink of the Gods is located.
Obviously not this Bee, this Bee was ‘locationally displaced’ – something my wife says when she is in fact not exactly ‘lost’ but just doesn’t know how she can get to where she wants to be (no pun intended).
This Bee didn’t even have enough common sense to retrace it’s steps (flight) back through the open window it came in from and try a different route. This Bee just kept slamming itself into a window pane in an apparent insect form of Hara Kiri.
In the end I rescued it – I caught it in a glass and set it free on it’s way by tipping it outside whereupon it flew off (probably into someone else’s house !)
It is unlikely that this Bee ever made it back to the hive being it’s sense of direction was obviously massively impaired to start with in conjunction with the fact it now had additional brain injury through prolonged head slamming against our windowpane.
It is a fact that most sensible Bees try to collect pollen during the day and whilst there are predators about it is a time when bats and other creatures of the night that gorge on flying insects hide away. Also more flowers open during the daytime so more chance for pollen collection.
And that is where the Secret Life of Bees I believe lies – I have a theory – the intelligent bees send out the ‘numpty’ ones at night in the hope that either they get eaten or alternatively are so stupid that in the dark with few visible clues they can’t actually navigate their way home again. In a form of insect eugenics this ensures the population remains as intelligent as possible thus prolonging their existence.
Well can you think of any other reason ?