Admittedly, I don’t get out much, so I think I might be forgiven when, a week or so ago, I was taken aback upon spying what I had presumed to be a hitherto-extinct creature.
A bumblebee, an insect that I’ve not seen in the wild (i.e. anywhere outside my apartment) since I was in high school, was flitting to and fro between gaily coloured objects that I think were, in my youth, called flowers. Bumbles displayed an exuberant enthusiasm which, I recall, was befitting this winged blast from the past.
Now, somewhere in the back of my mind, I dimly recalled hearing that all bees dropped dead a few years ago. Thinking that a cataclysmic event of such biblical proportions would have hit the headlines with a bit more of a splash , I decided to check in with my dear entomologist friend to get the low-down on our busy little buddies.
He reassured me that my recollection was indeed somewhat faulty.
He described something called Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). This apiarian apocalypse started occurring in late 2006. Beekeepers in Canada, the United States and Europe went out their beehives, opened them up to check up on the little inhabitants and there they were… GONE! Not dead. No mass suicide with a tell-tale washtub of semi-consumed Jimmy Jones Fizz. Gone. Disappeared. The bees just vanished without so much as a “Croatoan” carved into the side of the hive!
When I asked my dear bug scientist what was the reason for the disappearances, he nodded sagely and said, “We don’t know.” He offered a bunch of theories ranging from insect disease and immunodeficiency to environmental change-related stresses to mites to pesticides to cell phone radiation. “It could be one of these reasons. It could be a combination thereof. We’re just not sure. Things are improving though.”
Disappointment and skepticism must have registered on the old kosher samurai mug.
He leaned in close. “Want to know my own personal theory?” he asked, voice hushed.
I nodded, eager to get the inside scoop.
“I think,” he said, pausing for effect, “that it was the Rapture… and the bees went first!”
I stared at him and as he once again gave me the sage nod, coupled this time with a conspiratorial wink.
One of these days, I’m going to get the hang of nerd humour, I swear.
Thank goodness the bumblebees are OK for now, though. I was worried there for a few decades.
 I think I showed manly restraint in not saying, “made more of a buzz”.