When I was little, I remember lying on the living room couch with a sore throat and an upset tummy, miserable as only sick children can be. My grandmother was playing cards with a few of her friends, and I couldn’t have felt less festive. One of her friends, Aunt Rita, made me honey toast. I didn’t even want it, but I ate some, and I was instantly healed.
No one pointed at me as if it was a miracle, but that was okay- I was pretty shy, so I just sat up, got dressed properly, and went to play. Even having experienced this, and having read that honey was used in World War 1 as a wound healer in the battlefield, because of its antibiotic qualities, and other good things that bees put in honey, I don’t eat it all that often. But I do collect honey cookbooks or pamphlets I come across, and I like to buy local honey from any place I visit, as a souvenir!
That’s about all I know about bees or beekeeping, but a few months ago, when I investigated the whitenose syndrome that has been killing off bats, I read in several sources that scientists suspect it’s related to the devastating die off of bees, which syndrome is called, “colony collapse disorder.” This affects pollination and crops even more than bats do. Treehugger writes about it here.
The cause or causes of the syndrome are not yet fully understood, although many authorities attribute the problem to biotic factors such as Varroa mites and insect diseases (i.e., pathogens including Nosema apis and Israel acute paralysis virus). Other proposed causes include environmental change-related stresses, malnutrition and pesticides (e.g. neonicotinoids such as imidacloprid), and migratory beekeeping.
Quote from Wikipedia, so, um, not much homework there, Treehugger. Wiki also suggests cell phones might be a factor. Hmm.
So I’m not sure whether it was the name of this syndrome, with the word colony in it (as in, penal colony like Gitmo), or the fact that I was browsing the New York Times online and discovered that they have a whole blog on beekeeping (!), that made me think of Barack Obama as a beekeeper. Hey, if it’s good enough for the Times, it’s good enough for me! And he surely does have a potential big bee sting on him from the fallout of closing Guantanamo. (Or is it called Gitmo? All mixed up.) I love how they call the prisoners “detainees.” I guess it’s legally correct, but these are dangerous people, not guests at a hotel.
The LA Times had an interview with Cheney, who said only 3 of the prisoners (“detainees”) were waterboarded. I have to say, I hate torture of any kind, and personally, I think it’s worse than killing someone. So it’s not okay. But one of these 3 men boasted that he beheaded Daniel Pearl. Beheading is trying to take someone’s dignity, as well as their life, and I guess the Mideast thinks that’s hunky-dory. I find it revolting and inhuman.
So President Obama has a full plate trying to be “sensitive” towards the prisoners, yet not allow any bees loose to sting this country.
The drawing: very soft colors, with that lime green that I love so much. The trees are lined up with the symmetry and plan of an 18th century English garden. Here’s to you, Jane Austen, and your very civilized world.