I live in Hawaii in a relatively rural place so we are used to seeing things like wild turkeys wandering around our neighborhood. Yesterday a wild goat scampered across the street in front of my car to join its family on the other side. The Big Island has wild pigs, cattle, goats, horses, mongoose, parrots and even donkeys. (Not to digress, but Hawaii even has its own Bigfoot myths – two of my family members have personal stories about that.) In suburban neighborhoods it’s not unusual for people to keep chickens or goats; the best eggs I ever had were from a friend’s backyard. In fact the people across the street from us keep a goat as a lawnmower and have a beehive.
They’ve given us some honey before; it’s wonderful. I used to have a patch of mint that flowered and the bees just took over my garden. One time a few months ago they swarmed, coming right up our driveway next to our porch. We all ran inside, including the dogs, at a loss as to what might have upset them.
In the evenings lately I’ve noticed there is always one lone and angry bee buzzing around our porch light rather frantically, as if it’s bound and determined to go somewhere. With all the talk about the bees disappearing lately, I always hope it will find its way home.
The bee apocalypse is hot news right now – truly a sign of the times. So far no one is sure what’s going on – a virus, genetically modified crops, insecticides or maybe the effect of an increase in UV radiation which bees use to navigate. People are quoting Einstein as having said, “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.”
Next time I see my neighbor I will ask about the bees. It’s important to know if they are still around, and we would miss them very much indeed if they weren’t.