"I had a bee once. Boadicea was her name. She seemed slightly larger and maybe busier than the other bees and I really liked her. I had a dog once, too, but having a dog brings responsibilities, and an outrageous cost. It’s not just the cost of dog food, pimped as it usually is with all sorts of humanoid nourishment which they probably don’t want to eat. But the vet bills. And winter coat bills. And cleaning their teeth.
But bees are different. They are so much smaller and quieter than a dog, and in addition they have no obviously cleanable teeth. And this saves money. They also produce honey and mead which I really like, whereas dogs do not.
But how to care for bees is not easy. I think she took a dim view of my smoking near the hive and muttered about children and lungs. And my conscience was uneasy that my regular donations of sugar to the hive might have rotted her molars away. So I was worried about her. But the Men in White coats (or were they just bee keepers) said that without that sugar, her winters would have been frugally lean. So I gave her her sugar, and she liked it.
I just love the sound of her voice. I think that that is important in a relationship, that gentle monotone buzz which can underpin a successful marriage and soothe the furrowed brow, sending one straight to sleep. It’s so natural, that buzzing, and so reassuring and calming. So it’s a mystery to me as to why even supposedly grown-up adults plug headphones into A Day in Parliament or The Archers when they could so easily lie on a sward of grass and listen to a passing bee.
Without bees - Bombus (bumble) or Apis mellifera (honey) etc - the world would be tragically different. Gone would be so many plants and fruits, and it would be greyer like some awful accountancy seminar in a stuffy upstairs room.
But bees are cleverer than number-crunchers and they have a capacity to work in teams. They communicate far faster than my rural broadband, and their skill at drying honey with the vibration of their wings would make Mr Dyson quake in awe.
So I think we need to change and to stop thinking as human beings - by adopting instead the mindset of a helpful bee.
And we can do it, I know we can, with 'Pollinating London Together' to the fore.
Anyway, that's what my Boadicea tells me,
isn't it Honey?"