Let It Bee

The aster bush was alive.
A living, breathing, moving entity.
As I looked closer, I could see its flowers were filled with bees.
Dozens of them.
Looking to reap any last remnants of sweetness that may be left in the mid-October blooms.
The aster bush was only too happy to help.
It was probably grateful that it was being put into good service by the neighbourly insects.
They were so intent on securing whatever drops of nectar may be left that they paid no mind to me when I brushed by them.
“Sorry Mr. Bee!” I said.
They were too busy to notice.
I let them be.
The wasps have long since disappeared.
The creatures that yearn for one last taste of sugar to keep them going in the cooling autumnal days.
So much so, they often seek out our sugary patio drinks or desserts.
Much to the chagrin of us humans.
But they are only working.
We should allow them that.
Their normal sources of carbs, a sugary substance emitted from the mouths of their siblings, have grown and gone.
They now must search for other means – and occasionally that means crossing the path of a human.
Oh yes, they also like the nectar of flowers, what little there may be in the the fall.
But in a pinch, it is our frothy beers or glass of wine or watermelon slices that we are enjoying outside on a deck.
As we enjoy the last moments of summer warmth and sunshine, they too are looking for the last burst of energy that only a sugar high will give.
The lowly bumble bee, a solitary chap who lives in the ground, is also out for a last taste of sugar.
The honey bees are readying themselves for a long winter.
They too can feel the days getting shorter; triggering the need to hibernate before it is too late.
They have stored up what they hope is enough honey to see them through the dark days of winter.
Hopefully, empathetic bee keepers have left them enough to get them through, after harvesting what they want for their honey businesses.
The whole honey “business” itself is coming under scrutiny.
I have heard of “vegans” who will not eat honey.
Because it exploits the bees!
Are bees sentient beings?
That is a one million dollar question.
Their colonies, their social order, all begs the question, do bees “feel”?
Where does a “vegan” draw the line?
Are insects now considered part of the game?
Are some insects more “intelligent” than others?
What about ants?
Their social colonies are amazing – incredible even!
Are they considered sentient beings?
Should they be?
Do they “feel”?
Have empathy?
I am not sure.
Like any mammal, they kill prey, eat them, sometimes ruthlessly.
Take spiders, and preying mantis’ for example.
I pity the prey.
But are they any different from cheetahs, lions, wolves, etc.?
Are they not, at a most basic, essential level, considered “population control?”
It all begs more questions.
More investigation.
More research.
We know whales are mammals, capable of great intelligence.
And yet some people hunt them without mercy.
All our intelligent creatures, dogs, cats, horses, pigs and cows, used in some way, somewhere, as food.
Do we draw the line somewhere?
And if so, where?
In the meantime, however, back to our bees.
There they are – taking in a mid-fall feast on the aster bush.
More power to them.
I will let them be.


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