bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Sunday, November 06, 2005


An interesting -- if misleading -- wildlife documentary on TV tonight highlighted the plight of a hornbill's nest in a cavity in a tree. The cavity was of course perfect for a swarm of honeybees which duly invaded despite the resident bird trying to pick of each scout bee as it came to assess the residence. It makes you wonder what other creatures bees might dispossess.

The set-up was a bit too obvious though -- a dead hornbill chick was shown left stranded in the nest. Actually it looked like it had been dead for weeks. And the commentator twice insisted that a swarm would come if just one scout made it past the bird into the cavity. Well, we all know that lots of scouts need to visit before the swarm as a whole will be interested.


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