I’m sure everyone’s heard that the world’s supply of bees is mysteriously dwindling and soon mankind will follow suit. Without bees around to pollinate the majority of the crops we depend on, our food supply will disappear and we’ll be left to eat each other. Eventually there will only be one person left and when that person finally succumbs to hunger and eats himself (or herself), that’s it.
There are many theories buzzing around as to why the bees are vanishing. Global warming, pesticides, and mites are being mentioned as possibilities, though I don’t know why someone hasn’t considered that just maybe the bees are fed up with the queen and her royal system of government and have decided to become self-employed.
Whatever the reason, there is actually a name for this phenomenon – Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD. According to scientists, CCD occurs when a hive’s inhabitants suddenly disappear, leaving only a queen or two and a few immature workers, not unlike a Taco Bell at midnight on a Tuesday. Both have an unpredictable effect on the food we expect.
The best argument is that cell phones are to blame for these suddenly vacant hives. The theory goes that radiation given off by mobile phones is messing up the navigational systems of bees, preventing them from finding their way home.
This ultimately creates a lot of anxiety in the hive each night as bee spouses nervously sit up and stare at the cold side of their slot, wondering why their mate hasn’t come home.
Consider this: Bee-4957 (or B-4957 for short) has just had his way with the prettiest tulip on the block. He’s feeling pretty good about himself and is on his way back to the hive to brag up his conquest to the other bees in his sector. The sun is shining and life is good.
“B-4957, this is flight control for Hive 114. Do you copy?”
“Roger, Hive 114, this is B-4957. I copy.”
“You are clear for re-entry, B-4957. Expect a little turbulence just ahead. A few crows did a fly-by and disturbed the air pattern, but you should be fine. Adjust flight path accordingly.”
“Roger that, Hive 114.”
“B-4957, prepare to descend and…”
**crackle* *fuzz* *crackle** “…your landing gear…”
**crackle* *crackle** “…so I told that s.o.b. that if he ever wants to eat my meat loaf again, he’d better not come home smelling like a damn saloon!”
“B-4957, are you there?! You’re coming in way too high! Adjust your rate of descent! I repeat, adju…”
“Hive 114, I’m losing contact! Please repeat my heading! Hive 114? Hive 114?!?”
**crackle* *fuzz* *pop**
“…no, that’s two pepperonis and one sausage with anchovies. *pop** “…real anchovies this time. The last one tasted like trout…” **crackle*
“B-4957! This is Hive 114! Do you read me, B-4957?!?”
B-4957 was never heard from again. Scared, lost, and confused, he buzzed aimlessly about, hoping upon hope to once again hear the comforting voice of Hive 114’s flight controller. But it was not to be. Eventually his buzzing tired into a slow flap and he went down in a cornfield just 0.002843 miles from Hive 114 where he was immediately consumed by an excited raven who thought he’d just found the mother of all corn kernels. This scene is being played out thousands of times a day all over the world. Weary and confused bees are slamming into buildings and windshields and we have only ourselves to blame.
Studies seem to back up this theory. In areas with high concentrations of cell phones – like a high school, for instance – bee populations are down and those that remain are bumping into walls. This particular test is inconclusive, as unrelated studies have shown teenagers tend to confuse all life forms, with or without phones. So, until bees learn to survive by inhabiting areas with poor cell phone coverage, we have a decision to make: Hang up or die. Or perhaps mankind can create a drug to treat CCD — one that could be sprayed on the crops bees normally pollinate so they would get their dosage without even knowing it. We could call it ‘Beenoxilquil’. Read the disclaimer really fast for the proper effect: “For those times when you just need a little help finding your way. Take only as directed. Side effects may include diarrhea, vomiting, and a swelling of the antenna. Some bees may experience increased buzzing, irritability, and a desire to sting themself for no apparent reason. If stinger remains erect longer than four hours, consult your doctor.”