The Bee Killers

Hi blog.

This was one of my slap-the-forehead “What are you people thinking?  Were you thinking?” moments.

On May 11, a large (approximately 1000) swarm of honeybees settled on a building wall in the Takadanobaba area of Shinjuku, Tokyo.  None of the local news reports I’ve found have mentioned if the bees in question were native Japanese honeybees (Apis cerana japonica)or European honeybees (Apis mellifera sp.), although I’m not aware of European honeybees having any negative effect on the environment.

Now, my response would be to call in an apiarist (that’s a beekeeper to regular folk) to remove (i.e. capture and relocate) the swarm.  But, no, the authorities responded by calling in the police and fire department to “remove” the swarm – i.e. spray it with pesticides and clean up the dead bees.

This hasn’t made its way into the English language press, but feel free to watch it in Japanese.

NHK: http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20160511/k10010517131000.html

Nihon TV: http://www.news24.jp/articles/2016/05/11/07329885.html

My take:  Stupid, stupid, stupid.  The Ginza district has a thriving honey industry – there are fewer hornets in the metropolitan area – and I can’t see how spraying a swarm posed any less danger to the public (since bees are sensitive to chemical smells) than simply capturing the bulk of the bees and relocating them to a rooftop hive.

How about putting me in charge every now and then?

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