I hadn't seen any bees flying in and out for a few weeks, so I popped open the hive, this weekend. Over Christmas, this colony was FULL of bees. Andrew remembers when I popped the lid, and LOTS of bees looked out from the combs. My first thought on removing the lid (which was cemented back with propolis again) was "It's mighty quiet. TOO quiet."
The top super was FULL of honey. They had started building drone comb between it and the inner cover. But no drones. Nothing. No bees. I pulled the super and got into the hive body. That's when I started really getting creeped out.
I've been in sick hives. They look funny. Smell funny. This was sweet-smelling and clean. Everything was neat as a pin. No brood, no dead bees, no debris. Just empty. They had started building queen cells and drone cells. Andrew came over and looked. His comment was that it reminded him of those horror movies where it's like entire towns where everyone has just disappeared, leaving the kettle boiling on the stove. It's that eerie. Makes the back of your neck prickle.
And more even than the accounts of global warming, I started feeling that cold tendril of fear. Without bees, we die. Pollinators are important, and pollinators are disappearing in droves. Our food crops depend on them. Without pollinators, starvation becomes a looming possibility. The California almond crop is already in jeopardy, as the migrant apiaries they depend on have already been devastated by Colony Collapse. Pollination was way down, last spring. This year, what will we find, when the beehives are checked before the start of the blooms and honey flow? I have a very bad feeling.
I don't see the bumble bees and the carpenter bees, lately, either. Where are they? All gone? We know the butterflies are dying. The monarch butterfly is becoming endangered. What is happening to them, and how soon are humans in danger of following after?
It is the End Times, the boundary between the old world and a new paradigm. Who will move into the new one, and who will be left behind? The dinosaurs and their habitat were caught in a shifting because of a big chunk of rock hitting the earth. What is bringing the shift this time? And will we see it in our lifetime?