Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Swat Team

For this photo, I'm trying to look suitably fierce.  Some psycho bees accompanied Neil and Devon home last week after they had moved some mean hives.  Normally, a bee gets aggressive only when defending its hive.  When bees are flying around looking for honey and pollen, even Africanized bees won't bother you.  Psycho bees are different.  They've been separated from their hive.  The last thing they remember in their little bee brains is the trauma of having their hive jostled and moved, so the hive defense program remains operative within their behavioral repertorie.  In other words, they fly around looking for trouble.  They typically only live a couple of days, but during this time they can make life miserable for anybody they encounter.

My Swat Team garb is more drama than anything.  It's virtually impossible to swat an attacking bee.  To a bee, humans move in slow motion, and are easily avoided.  From our slow human perspective, bees dart around so rapidly, they have already moved to a new location before our sluggish reflexes have time to respond. My strategy is to flip my flyswatter back and forth as rapidly as I can, and hope a bee accidentally flies into it.  This happens occasionally, but not very often.