Kevin Myers: There has never been such a bee-less summer as this one, so maybe disaster now awaits us
Published 23/06/2010 | 05:00
A VISITOR from yesteryear, now walking over whatever remains of our pristine countryside during this amazing June, might be tempted to ask: where are our honeybees?
That is the great unasked question of Irish life today. We can be reasonably sure that the catastrophic collapse in the damson crop across Ireland in the past two years was because of the rapid disappearance of the honeybee, which would usually have pollinated the springtime blossom.
Later in the flowering season -- namely now -- emerges the clover bloom, the head of which consists of scores of florets, each containing at its base a tiny capsule of nectar. The honeybee, with her tiny, searching tongue, can extract the nectar and bring it back to the hive. There, worker bees gather round the droplets of this floral sugar solution and, whirring their wings, create a warm draught that evaporates water, and creates the distillate that we call honey.