And you thought you had a hard time getting laid...

I saw this in the news yesterday: "Africanized bees found in Utah for the first time."

The term "Africanized bees" refers to a hybrid bee, the result of interbreeding between European and African honeybees. It all started back in the 1950s when scientists in Brazil tried to breed a honeybee that would do better in South American climates. They imported African honeybees, then promptly lost a batch of them. Like you do, when you are tampering with nature for your own monetary gain...

They started to interbreed with the local bees, who were earlier escapees of European stock (as it turns out, there are no honeybees native to the Americas - see tampering with nature, above). The resulting hybrids are slightly smaller than European honeybees, but much more aggressive. They are very successful, as they are less selective about nesting sites than European bees. They'll use hollow trees, walls, porches, sheds, attics, utility boxes, garbage containers and abandoned vehicles. Because of this flexibility, they have been moving north at a rate of about 200 miles per year. Since 1990, there have been 14 deaths in the U.S. attributed to these "killer bees."

As I was reading all of this I was finalizing plans for Valentine's Day, so naturally I started to think about how the interbreeding actually went down. It's not like queen bees hang around on street corners looking for eligible drones. They stay deep in the hive, defended by all of their thousands of fierce warrior daughters. So how did this happen...?

I like to imagine that it was some really hardcore European drone who got the job done. You have to understand, drones have no purpose in bee society beyond reproduction - they don't even have stingers. Dropping their payload is their only mission in life - in fact, their genitalia is barbed, and breaks off in the act, so mating is fatal for them (I know some guys like that...). Imagine that little drone sneaking into that hive, past all those guard bees, and slipping into the royal chamber. He's like the James Bond of bees...

The young beautiful queen is just getting out of the shower, with a towel wrapped around her thorax. He's calmly leaning on the wet bar in his little bee tuxedo when she sees him and sputters, "How did you get in here?!"

He smiles. "Through the front door, Your Majesty. Champagne?"

Now she's taken aback. She's used to bees jumping when she speaks, especially drones. "Who are you?" she demands, with one set of hands on her hips - er, abdomen.

As he calmly hands her a glass he says, "Mellifera - Apis Mellifera." (Which is really fucking funny if you understand Latin...)

As he draws closer to her, she brandishes her stinger, saying "Stay back, Mr. Mellifera, or I'll call my guards..." He gently pushes her stinger aside and pulls her to him. She sighs as her towel falls to the floor. He wryly says, "Oh, the things I do for Queen and hive..."
Unfortunately, even as smooth as he was, his junk still broke off inside her and he died... but his hybrid offspring carry on his schmoozing ways to this day.

All things considered, our mating rituals are much less daring. Most human females don't have guards; all one need do is arrive with flowers - which is a gesture I have never understood. "Hi. I like you, so I cut the sex organs off these plants." Despite the disturbing castration symbolism there it seems to work, and it's very unlikely that your business will break off inside her...

Happy Valentine's Day!


Unknown said...

So after I cleaned up the coffee I spit all over my desk laughing at this post I read it again. And laughed even harder. Now I'm sending it to Mama G.

Happy V Day, Pater. I'll cut the sex organs off of plants for you anytime, honeybee :-)

Mayren said...

Waiting for my own Valentine's date so i thought to check out what was up in Linus's neck of the woods..
Happy Valentine's indeed my friend.

May you and your own special Queen have a wonderful lovey-dovey holiday weekend (naughtiness shall commence in T Minus ......)

Linus said...


You little minx... tempting me like this when you're so many miles away... ;)


Thanks for your V-Day wishes, and I hope your naughtiness was a success!

becca said...

thanks linus for makeing me laugh out loud at the internet cafe. I also laugh out loud to podcasts when I'm on the bus . . . the Albanians think I'm crazy :)

Linus said...


You are welcome! I am considering doing a podcast of some of my more ranty posts... :)

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