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Sunday, May 15, 2016

Hi Bead...Bead?

"Hi Bead !"
 Silence.
''Bead?"


"Not Bead," quoth the bee. "Bombus."
"Bombus?"
"Yes, Bombus terrestris, a buff-tailed, Earthly Bumblebee."
"Earthly Bumblebee?"
"Yes, we're essential to many other planets besides Earth. Planets with ecosystems. There's an economy to the universe and we work cheap --Humblebees actually."

"I hadn't heard of Humblebees."
"You'll find it in Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 4, scene 1: 'BOTTOM:
Monsieur Cobweb, get you your weapons in hand and kill me a humble-bee on the top of a thistle. And, good monsieur, bring me the honey bag. Do not fret yourself too much in the action, monsieur. And good monsieur, have a care the honey bag break not. I would be loath to have you overflown with a honey bag, signor.' "
"So when did you get called Bumble?"
"Well, when you're humble and you see a chance to keep your mouth shut, you do it. Us bees used to audition for parts in plays. We'd get on stage and some director and his cronies would say things like "Ok, so you want to act, eh? Can you make a noise like broken glass?" So, a few hundred years ago, we just told them to go do something they probably did anyway, then we shut up, humbly. No more auditions. Just flower to flower, clumsily at first, bumbley."

"Then Bombus? I learn here!"
"Indeed, but not so far into the etymology as bombastic --even though we fly without regard to aerodynamic lift equations and do so only because it's part of our act --remember, we started out as stage-bees, big enough for audiences to see but lifted by wires and guided by riggers and stage-hands. Should we ever be bombastic, our hot air would escape and we couldn't even handle poppies. Now, if you'll stand clear, I'll inflate myself and ascend."
I stepped back and watched but, ere he flew out of sight, called, "Give my best to Bead and to all a good night!"

He kept his mouth shut.

 

23 comments:

  1. Glad to have insight into these bee's life... I once started catching their ancestors by stepping on them (stunning them, not crushing) and then collecting them into a jar. I had five or six in my "colony" when one wasn't stunned enough and stung my seven year old self and I added some new words to my vocabulary as I ran for my mommy.

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    1. Sage, as a former 7-year-old myself, I know there are painful things about experimenting with cats and bees that a boy can learn in no other way.

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  2. Beautiful text, beautiful Bumblebee. They're getting rare, though, and I think it's a bad sign. I'd like to see them more often around here, just like when I was a child.
    And the bees buzz. A lot.

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    1. Thank you! The bees will come back, Ana. They want to and they will.

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  3. Those are wonderful photos. Kudos to Norma!

    A lot of us could do worse than keep our mouths firmly closed most of the time. Smart bee.

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    1. Most kind. Will relay compliment to Norma. Maybe if we could heat air inside us, we too could fly.

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  4. It is such fun sharing the chance meetings you have. I feel ready to meet them if the opportunity arises.

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    1. The opportunity waits in imagination and ,indeed, sharing fun.

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  5. I do hope that he and his relatives don't leave for one of those other planets. They might be (I hope they are) better appreciated and needed but we need our bees. Be it ever so humble there is no place like home.

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    1. EC, these bees are determined to keep their planet running. I have measureless faith in them. When I watch their ceaseless industry, I am bumbled, I mean humbled (or do I?).

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  6. The Bard and the Bee.
    From now on, humble they shall be, though
    planetary guardians as well, to me.
    And thanks to Normaphoto a lovely fuzzy bombus to see.

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    1. Much appreciated! Few things inspire poetry like a lovely bombus.

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  7. Replies
    1. Defying aerodynamics with every flutter of his wings! An enigma!

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  8. Replies
    1. Much like St. Bede indeed, a skilled linguist for a bee.

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  9. Delightful post - sorry I'm late in reading it. I've never heard of a humblebee, but I think I've heard of Shakespeare.
    I'm presently dealing with aggressive and annoying bees.
    Midsummer Night's Dreams are unheard of in the wilds of TN.

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    1. Thanks Jon! I've been reading about a colony of genetically aggressive bees just found in Concord --populous city between here and San Francisco. Learned others were found 2 years ago in Brentwood,TN. These are urban communities. Let's hope they at least prefer the cities to the wilds.

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  10. Best I can offer is that I read that one of the way science-deniers have assaulted the scientific method is to say that 'science cannot explain how bee's fly'.....well, in 2007 a study was done that does just that.
    Cheers, Geo. Heading back to MT tomorrow, long drive and not looking forward to it.

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    1. I do recall bees were finally acquitted of flying against physical laws, and were much relieved. Now they don't have to haul little ladders around. Happy and safe motoring, Mike.

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  11. The bumblebee is a beautiful creature of nature (as shown by lovely Norma's picture), but it's stung is mighty. I admire those creatures that can put us humans in our place, but I wish they would not put their hives against or by my house.

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    1. I have spoken to the bumblebees on your behalf and you have nothing to fear from them. They do, however, advise you to use an aerosol stream spray --Spectracide Wasp, Hornet and Yellow Jacket Spray is a good one unless you spray it backwards-- on their house-colonizing competitors. I do, and always use face and eye protection.

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    2. p.s., Moving slowly and unthreateningly, Norma gets within inches of these bees for photos and has not been stung...yet.

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