The End Of Bees

There's a bee crisis - or more precisely, there's a lack of bees crisis. And, if we are to believe the reports - it's global. Now if you're like me - you tend to take a healthy dose of cynicism with ya corn-flakes so there's a good chance you'll view such claims with a somewhat jaundiced eye ...

The deal is that if the bee shortage continues or worsens, all out famine will result due to the lack of pollination from our industrious little friends.

I don't know - it all seems a bit contrived, a bit shrill - a bit simplistic and propagandaesque.

Hey, I might be wrong - maybe if the bees go we'll have taken an evolutionary dead end that in sixty million years or so, will see bearded dragons using our remains to run their cars ...

I can say one thing with certainty - right now, in our garden, it's beemageddon. The culprit though isn't global warming, pesticides or Monsanto ... it's our old mate the flower spider. Every day, over the last week, I've trundled down the garden to say g'day to her and see what she's up to.

Well, what she's been bloody well up to is eating everyone else in the garden!.

But it's the poor old bees who've been copping the biggest hiding. And whether or not the beelievers, (sorry) are right or not is almost a moot point. I grew up with the understanding that bees are 'good', wasps - not so much ... esp the introduced German wasp - a marauder of school lunches and the bane of family picnics N.Z wide, (Kiwis aren't good with stinging bitey things in general, but they keep voting nevertheless - god bless 'em).

Blue banded bee stopping in for lunch

Not quite what she had in mind eh?

After a bee this hoverfly would be a cake-walk eh?

Such considerations aside, I watched as one of Australia's largest bees - the Great Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa), droned and blundered her way about. I love watching them fly from flower to flower - they don't really land, it's more of a controlled crash ... they are though very strong flyers, and surprisingly quick.

Anyway, this bee-hemoth (sorry, I'll stop now), this behemoth of a bee couldn't possibly be at risk from the spider, (were my thoughts as she was doing her bombastic rounds). How wrong can ya bee? (no, seriously - I'm sorry ... I promise, no more ... it's ridiculous ...).

Now tell me the truth - does my thorax look big in this?

Nature can be ghoulishly cartoonsih at times

And using her prodigious strength she manipulated the bee ...

... until it was completely desiccated

Speaking of spiders - I awoke the other morning to find this handsome devil staring down on me ... comfiest pic I've ever taken :) The second pic is of a giant water spider - I snapped it while teetering on some sharp rocks under a bridge the other day - a real beauty, but I've read they can be a touch cranky and can deliver a powerful bite. This one though seemed pretty mellow as I leaned in with the compact while trying not to break my neck ...


Megadolomedes australianus

The dragonfly's seem to be doing well, we've got loads zooming around the garden at present - and I can't resist snapping them ...

I also happened across this striking leaf footed bug - those colours make it pretty clear that it's not tasty, (either that or it's a damned fine example of Batesian mimicry). It's a plant feeder - using it's rostrum to draw liquid as you can see in the pic.


Then last night I spent a while annoying this slightly grubby but incredibly iridescent white-lipped tree frog who grimly hunkered down refusing to do anything interesting until I buggered off and stopped disturbing his evening hunt ...

Litoria infrafrenata

And while we're on the subject of frogs - look who's back ... We thought that our jolly green giant had disappeared ... in fact, I was sure she'd been eaten. But no, like the proverbial bad penny - there she was sitting on top of Jo's woodies with a look of patient expectation on her broad face ...

Well, Jo couldn't resist (who could), so she grabbed a couple of roaches from their box and quick as lightening our plump little green mate started munching away ...

Litoria caerulea

Mmmmm woody!

Waiter! There appears to be a thumb in my woody!



If ya like - you can jump back to an earlier post when Jo first fed this frog nearly a year ago ... I have no idea where she's been in the interim but it's bloody great to see her again.

All (bad) jokes aside, I hope those who claim the end of bees is nigh are wrong. It's unconscionable that we even have to consider the possibility that a farmed animal is threatened with extinction - a bloody farmed animal - have we really reached the point that we can't even look after the animals that feed us?. We're insane if that's the case ... ya can't bloody well eat money eh?.

To Bee or not to Bee ... I guess that's the question, seems daft we even have to ask eh? 


  1. Lovely and fun as usual. :) We call the flower spiders "crab spiders," because they look like tiny crabs (leg count notwithstanding). I think I like your name better. It sounds less, hmmmm, pesky.

    Totally adorable that "your" frog comes looking for handouts. And I agree about the bees, both the frustration of our lack of care and the suspicion about the hype. What I get a bit wound up about is the focus in the U.S. is always the poor honeybees. While I think honeybees are swell, they aren't native. All our lovely native bees are usually still treated as backyard pests. Sigh.


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