Bees were involved in different incidents over the past few days across the world, making this a bees buzz week. First, Mobsters of Italy have been accused of killing honey bees worth $160,000 preserved at a local honey manufacturing business in Pisa, Italy. The Mirror, UK reports this as an extortion racquet carried out against the aviary owner in what, sounds Godfather like. It is also reported that the honey out of this aviary is used by a popular Italian brand. Aviary owner though has claimed no threats of extortion have come his way and he also lamented on the millions of Euros he lost because of this gangster act. He claims each hive was worth four hundred euros and then the prize of the honey bees. The local police are taking this case seriously, as their concerns extend to the people of that town outside Pisa. They asked the local hospitals to report any cases of multiple honey bee stung victims.
Back in the states it was a week of bees too, in a separate incident in La Canada Flinridge, California a 51 year old female who met with an accident was attacked by thousands of bees after she lifted a fiber box roadside. Onlookers say, when they tried to rescue her from the bees they turned wild on them and claim they were all over the woman. Police and fire rescue saved her from the bee swamp by using sprays. In the process, a deputy police sheriff was stung too. A teen girl was also attacked by the same bees and both victims were rushed to the local hospital for treatment. Later, it was estimated that the 51 year old female was stung by 75,000 African killer bees at least 1,000 times. The good news is that the woman is expected to recover fully from this horrid bee attack.
Bee Buzz this week from Mexico was reported by Gwen Pearson of The Wired. She covered a story involving a local Mexican woman who is working hard to save native bees. It is recorded in history that there is great Mayan beekeeping techniques in Central America going centuries back. The woman is trying to save the Mayan species of bees that arrived in Central America from Spain in the early sixteenth century. The woman is trying to protect the Melipona Beechali that is claimed to be the only surviving bees out of the three ancient varieties. The woman says even these surviving bees are an endangered species and she is fighting hard to protect them. She is also reported to have claimed that these bees are harmless. “Their honey is soft and they are soft too. That is why they don’t sting,” she remarks.
Well, though the bees make humans angry when they swarm and harm like they did in Palm Beach, California this week, humans are still enticed by the bees for their honey and need the bee buzz in their lives. Like Sue Monk Kidd eloquently put in The Secret Life of Bees:
“Place a beehive on my grave
And let the honey soak through.
When I’m dead and gone,
That’s what I want from you.
The streets of heaven are gold and sunny,
But I’ll stick with my plot and a pot of honey.
Place a beehive on my grave
And let the honey soak through.”
All in all, an eventful week of the bees.
Commentary by Vikas Vemuri