At the age of 4, journalist Pete Cashmore was stung in the garden of his Wolverhampton home, on the foot, by a bee. The enraged child killed the bee, and then – in a fit of remorse – spent the next three decades learning to understand and love his furry foe of that fateful afternoon. Now the man known as ‘King Bee’ in the zoology world will nominate for our pleasure his 10 Favourite Bees!
Bumblebee – nature’s greatest killer! No, wait, that’s a great white shark, bumblebees are the fat furry things. The name pretty much says it all: to bumble, meaning to blunder about haplessly. And how hapless and tragic could a bee be? As fat and ungainly as a walrus attempting capoeira, the bumbler gets just one sting to protect itself, the its guts fall out all over the shop and it’s off to the great hive in the sky. So it can take life on the chin, or have a go back and self-disembowel. What a choice, eh bee-lovers?
Not, sadly, an austere and mysterious bee who knows where all the best pollen is on account of a series of secret handshakes. Bees can’t shake hands – FACT! Instead, a scary-looking black buzzer who nests in brickwork and frightens snot-nosed toddlers on holiday in the south coast of Britain. Effectively a regular bee made scarier by its dark exterior, and therefore, the goth of the bee family. If you listen hard enough, you will hear that the Masonry Bee buzzes to the tune of This Corrosion by The Sisters Of Mercy.
The bumbler may have a special place in our hearts, but it’s the slender and much less even-tempered honeybee who gives something back, providing us with a delicious accompaniment to toast, fried chicken, and lemon when one has a sniffle.
Honeybees also have a rather kinky vaginocentric sexual heirarchy thing going on, always readily submit to helping out in World Bee Beard record attempts, and generally play along, so as to not get squished. Good on them, and on me for using the word ‘vaginocentric.’
The smallest type of bee in the world, measuring just 2.1 millimetres, or, in layman’s terms, two point one times longer than a millimetre. The dwarf bee now prefers to be referred to as ‘little person bee’ or ‘bee of restricted growth’, and makes most of its money during the pantomime season, appearing in such productions as Jack And The Beestalk, and other pantomimes whose names lend themselves to insect-related puns, none of which we can think of now. Ali Baba And The Forty Bees? No, that’s rubbish.
All together now – BOOOOOO! There has to be a bad guy in the bee world and this opportunistic bastard is it. Like its bird namesake, it invades the nests of other bees, in this case innocent bumblebees (see: bumblebees), lays its eggs and then scarpers, like some devil-may-care CSA-dodging scrounger dole-dad. Then claims that he didn’t even like the bee he slept with, and besides, she said she was on the pill.
Not actually an insectoid bee as such, rather a common rite of passage in which North American children wet themselves in packed auditoria on account of their inability to spell ‘onomatopoeia’ inside of a second. Cruel, pointless and damaging, and therefore a very entertaining kind of bee, even if we don’t know why they call it a bee in the first place. If bees could actually spell, they would probably request some pollen, please.
AFRICAN KILLER BEE
That name, and in particular the word ‘killer’, really should set the alarm bells ringing. Africa is a long way away, further even than Belgium, but every now and then these murderous buzzing tosspots insist on inexplicably migrating to some random hotspot and stinging somebody dead.
Thankfully, african killer bees favour the USA, lured by their use of pancakes as a breakfast foodstuff.
MEGACHILE PLUTO BEE
Officially the largest bee in the world at a whacking one and a half inches, meaning it gets to wear a special tunic until a bigger bee comes along. Gigantic though it is in bee terms, the Pluto is not really all that, and to be honest, since he stopped working out, it’s pretty much all fat. Claims it’s relaxed muscle but we’re not falling for THAT.
HAMMERHEAD SPACE BEE
Discovered on the planet Neptune at roughly the time it became apparent I don’t actually know 10 types of bee, this four-metre-long carnivore is the most venomous creature in the entire galaxy, is three times more intelligent than man (even really intelligent humans Stephen Hawking or Sue Barker) and can kill just by imagining the death of the thing it is considering killing. Thankfully, it is resultantly so smug that it waits for any prey to come to it, reasoning that it is so perfect that it shouldn’t have to put in any effort, and so has only slightly wounded one small child in the last four millions years, preferring instead to send out for pizzas.
The only insect in the animal kingdom with the power to knock you out a beautiful mock-Georgian mahogany armoire with Cyrillic burnishing detail. The Carpenter bee was named after tragic singer Karen Carpenter, who found the species while on a family picnic, where she naturally didn’t eat anything. In fact, the Carpenters hit Hurting Each Other was originally inspired by the Carpenter Bee, after one of them stung her on the bottom.
Beedogs! Dogs in bee costumes!
You should have noticed by now that the pictures in this article are NOT of real bees. Mooky Towers wubs