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1:40pm on Monday, 21st July, 2008:

Woe, Bee Gone


Well, the man from the environmental health section of Colchester Borough Council came round today to examine our bee problem.

I was properly prepared to discuss the problem, having read all the various bee web sites that QBlog readers pointed me at (this subject having garnered me QBlog's biggest postbag to date). He, however, was not a great source of information. When I asked him, for example, whether there might be a chance of inadvertantly killing other colonies of bees if he poisoned this one, he said, "Well, I don't think you can really block the holes up". It was only later, in trying to find out how deadly to non-bees the "dust" he was proposing to use was, that he mentioned in passing it lost its efficacy when wet. So, if I were to stick my hosepipe into the nest and turn it on, at least that would mean no errant bees checking out the site from another hive will pick up anything deadly to take back with them. That's something, I suppose, but I'm wondering what other useful snippets of information may have been forthcoming if I'd somehow managed to ask the right question.

I was still very reluctant to give the OK for him to "dust" the hive, despite the fact that I'd been chased by some of its inhabitants at the weekend for daring to go nearby with a lawnmower, but at that very moment my father-in-law showed up. Having been stung twice in the past couple of weeks, he was in no mood to compromise. Given the real and present danger that he would have killed the bees off himself if I hadn't let the environmental health man do it, I finally acquiesced. Bye bye bees.

So, if you're wondering why bee colonies are disappearing across the globe, you now know the cause: it's because they're stinging fathers-in-law.

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Copyright © 2008 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).