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Walking around the farm today, I saw a sorry sight. A honey bee in an icy tomb. Kate fed the bees the other day and I assume one felt the warmth of the sun and left the hive on a flight more doomed than that of Icarus. The air in Wisconsin in winter is no place for a honey bee.

honey bee in the snow


What struck me about the sadness of seeing the bee is that I’ll admit most my concern about their collective well being this winter is that bees are freakin’ expensive. They didn’t give us any honey this year and while I’m eager to try again, I want to do it with our current colony.

Upon seeing the bee I instantly thought of the wise and logical Spock from Star Trek. Let me change tack for a minute and add I’m not much of a Star Trek fan. I was always much more of a TNG fan and frankly I can’t stand William Shatner. However, we don’t have cable, and antenna TV nowadays is mostly MASH, Mary Tyler Moore and a host of other shows from the 60s and 70s. So, I’ve been watching some TOS lately when I find myself in front of the tube.

Last week I caught a bit of an episode where Spock has sensed the complete destruction of a Vulcan starship. McCoy accepts that Vulcans can sense the life force of someone they’ve been in close contact with, but he scoffs at the idea that Spock could “personally” feel the sorrow of such a large number of Vulcan dying.


Dr. McCoy: But, 400 Vulcans?

Mr. Spock: I’ve noticed that about your people, Doctor. You find it easier to understand the death of one than the death of a million. You speak about the objective hardness of the Vulcan heart, yet how little room there seems to be in yours.

Dr. McCoy: Suffer the death of thy neighbor, eh, Spock? Now, you wouldn’t wish that on us, would you?

Mr. Spock: It might have rendered your history a bit less bloody.

I hope this post was interesting… it made sense this afternoon but I’m a little loopy from a head cold. I know Spock was known for being logical – something I’m rarely guilty of. So, it’s possible I’ve totally confused what he was explaining to McCoy. Still, I guess when I talk cavalier about the life of our hive, I’ll remember the sadness of a single lost bee in a pile of snow.