Following the Slumdog Millionaire-esque runaway success of my interesting and educational post about Ants, I was going to try and write an interesting and educational post about Bees.
Unfortunately, it turns out that Bees are nowhere near as interesting as a) you think they're going to be and b) ants. Sorry, everyone, but compared to ants bees are pretty fucking lame.
I mean, yes, bees chew nectar to make honey (maybe you should reconsider eating honey) and sometimes bees commit infanticide and there are slavemaker bees, not unlike slavemaker ants but somehow more boring. Bees = over-rated. So they do a little dance. Sometimes I also do a little dance, and I don't see hordes of men in white coats rushing to study me. (Yet.)
I was going to try and make bees interesting for you but it was just too much of an uphill path. (Even Google agreed, suggesting 'list of all beers' and 'list of all beatles songs.' That is how interesting bees are not.)
B is for Boring. Most interesting things I learnt while researching this aborted article - there are 'vulture bees' which feed on carrion, and there is an actual magazine called 'Aussie Bee.' To which people subscribe. (Presumably.) 'Aussie Bee' spends a lot of time describing bees as 'fuzzy' and recommending certain species as 'good pets for children.' No, actually.
However, there was an upside - some bumblebees have the most interesting scientific names. Here is a short list of some of my favourite bumblebee names, and how (I think) they were discovered - by a bee scientist, the good Doctor, and his assistant Johnson.
Bombus Confusus - "Doctor, Doctor, I have discovered a new bee!" "Excellent work, Johnson. What is it doing?" "It has flown into the wall."
Bombus Funebris - "Doctor, Doctor, I have discovered a new bee!" "What's it like?" "Dead."
Bombus Hyperboreus - "This bee has done nothing all day, Johnson. Let's go to the pub."
Bombus Ignitus - "Doctor, I have set the bee on fire."
Bombus Macgregori - "Look, Johnson! This bee is wearing a tiny tam o'shanter!"
Bombus Ruderatus - "Johnson, come and look at what your bloody bee just did all over my desk."
Bombus Remotus - "Doctor, I have discovered a bee!" "Where is it?" "Over there."
Bombus Incertus - "Johnson, are you sure this is a bee?" (alt: "Johnson, what are you doing with that bee?")
Bombus Wurflenii - "Doctor, I have found a new bee!" "Excellent! Let us name it!" "Maybe we should wait until tomorrow." "Don't be ridiculous! I am perfectly sober."
Bombus Superbus - "Doctor, this is the BEST BEE EVER!"
Bombus Infrequens - "Johnson, I have lost that bee again."
Bombus Fragrans - "Johnson, what is that delicious smell? Have you been baking bread in here?" "No, Doctor. It is the bee."
Bombus Sulfureus - "Johnson! Was that you?" "No, Doctor, it was...it was the bee!"
Bombus Oceanicus - "Johnson! There is a bee in my bath!"
Bombus Subtypicus - "Johnson, this is not a very good bee."
Bombus Haemorrhoidalis - "Johnson, I have sat on the bee."
Bombus Excellens - "Johnson, this is a great bee."
Bombus Inexspectatus - "Ouch!"
Bombus Imitator - "Johnson! This is not a bee at all!"
Bombus Crotchii - "Doctor! I have just discovered a new bee, and you will never guess where it stung me!" "Excellent, Johnson! What are we going to call it?" "Well, that's really up to you, Doctor Crotch."