Now, my favorite depiction of a honey bee is the ol' Walt Disney animation that shows bees carrying little buckets of honey. In fact, I was disappointed when it truly sunk in that - oh, the humanity - that's not the way bees work. Like when I found out that Haley Mills played both parts in "The Parent Trap," and it wasn't twins. I almost cried.
I, like the rest of humanity, am vulnerable to the dreaded bee sting. The most memorable bee sting I received was at my grandparents' farm, when the extended family sat outside in the warm weather to eat. I sat, transfixed, as a yellow jacket flew perilously close to my leg, then hovered between my knees. My little girl self reacted instictively. Unfortunately, I have bad instincts. I immediately squooshed my knees together. You know, to keep it from stinging me. The result was, of course, that it ensured getting stung. What really stung was knowing that I had brought on the red, swollen welt.
Perhaps because I've never had to carry around an epi pen, I rather like bees. Not swarming around me, or even weaving into the "no-fly zone" around my head. But I like that bees exist.
So, apparently, does Haagen-Dazs. Last Friday when we were at the evil box store Wal-Mart, almost their entire ice cream section was emptied. I don't know why. So my plans to buy healthy Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches gave way to eyeing the Haagen-Dazs pints. Most of which had a cute little symbol about how they're trying to Save the Bee. Why? Because, people, OUR BEES ARE DYING. And even if you have a bee phobia, you should care.
Do you like fruit? So do I. Guess what pollinates fruit trees. Do you like honey? So do I. Guess what carries honey around in little buckets, or something. Bees.
Now, I'm no bee charmer (like Idgie from "Fried Green Tomatoes") but I've always been intrigued by the job of a bee keeper. Cause you can bet it's the bee's knees. And who doesn't want to make insects, or whatever bees are, drunk with smoke from a can that looks like it came right off the Tin Man?
I wouldn't mind having some bees (did you know that ingesting local honey helps fight off allergies?), and maybe a few chickens, too, if we lived out in the country. But right now the dogs are a handful, and they don't have stingers. Maybe I like bees because of early childhood exposure to Winnie the Pooh.
So buy some ice cream, save a few bees, and picture yourself heavily hooded smoking your bees and selling local honey at the Farmer's Market. No? Well then, hey, it's almost the Fourth of July. Just buy the ice cream. http://helpthehoneybees.com/
News stories on the disappearing bees: