Honeybees: The first 100,000,000 years

The bees are dying! The bees are dying!  Yes, for all you eco-horror fans, it's the latest thing anxiety to hug to your bosom. Nighttime AM radio is mad with frightening rumors about our crashing bee populations.

But here's a soothing thought. Bees have been around for at least 100,000,000 years.

Think about that: One hundred times one million summers and winters. The ancestors of the little helicopters you see dancing around the flowers in your yard today have been found embedded in amber dated back a million centuries. That means eons of bee viruses and bee bacteria, not to mention the rise and fall of predatory birds and dinosaurs, major climate changes galore, humongous volcanic eruptions, asteroid strikes, and large ups and downs in the population of flowering plants, the food source for bees. And very recently, about four million years ago, the rise of hominids like you and me. And yet those tiny insectoid hummers keep helicoptering around in their billions.

So that today, even if all the rogue nuke maniacs in the world explode all their mega-bombs at the same time, chances are the first sound you'll hear, after your ears stop ringing, will be a gentle but very persistent bzzzzzzzzt.... And you'll see a hardy little insect buzzing your sugar rations, right down there in your bomb-shelter. Not many people may survive, but the bees will find a way.

No, I wouldn't worry too much about the indestructible bees.

Next scare?

James Lewis blogs at http://www.dangeroustimes.wordpress.com/
The bees are dying! The bees are dying!  Yes, for all you eco-horror fans, it's the latest thing anxiety to hug to your bosom. Nighttime AM radio is mad with frightening rumors about our crashing bee populations.

But here's a soothing thought. Bees have been around for at least 100,000,000 years.

Think about that: One hundred times one million summers and winters. The ancestors of the little helicopters you see dancing around the flowers in your yard today have been found embedded in amber dated back a million centuries. That means eons of bee viruses and bee bacteria, not to mention the rise and fall of predatory birds and dinosaurs, major climate changes galore, humongous volcanic eruptions, asteroid strikes, and large ups and downs in the population of flowering plants, the food source for bees. And very recently, about four million years ago, the rise of hominids like you and me. And yet those tiny insectoid hummers keep helicoptering around in their billions.

So that today, even if all the rogue nuke maniacs in the world explode all their mega-bombs at the same time, chances are the first sound you'll hear, after your ears stop ringing, will be a gentle but very persistent bzzzzzzzzt.... And you'll see a hardy little insect buzzing your sugar rations, right down there in your bomb-shelter. Not many people may survive, but the bees will find a way.

No, I wouldn't worry too much about the indestructible bees.

Next scare?

James Lewis blogs at http://www.dangeroustimes.wordpress.com/