U of C researcher cracks the mystery of disappearing honeybee colonies

Aug 11th, 2013 | By | Category: Alberta, Calgary, Feature, Humour, News, Satire
Honeybee pollinating flower

The fate of the human race is bound to the fate of the honeybee.

By Urban Anomie

Entire honeybee colonies around the world are either dying off or disappearing altogether.

The phenomenon has been aptly named Colony Collapse Disorder (aka We’re Screwed if the Bees Disappear Disorder) and it’s being reported in every region on the planet.

Honeybees play an integral part in the ecosystem. As much as 1/3 of the food on grocery store shelves require pollination from honeybees. From carrot trees to pepperoni stalks:  without honeybees, much of the food the human body needs will disappear from the planet, followed shortly by dolphins, then humans.

It’s all very Margret Atwood novel-sounding, but it’s a scientific fact. No more honeybees would be as detrimental to the planet as no more Starbucks.

Countries around the world have been experimenting with alternative pollinating techniques. In the US, armies of underpaid illegal immigrants from Mexico are being employed to pollinate flowers with paintbrushes. China has lifted it’s one-child per family policy in hopes of breeding more slave children to do the pollinating. And in Canada and France, crop growers have hired wasp-keepers to pollinate crops, but the results have been disastrous and left entire communities pissed right off.

Scientists worldwide have been banging their heads together for the better part of a decade in search of answers: some pointing their fingers at pesticides—more specifically, neonicotinoids—while others place blame on poachers who kill bees by the thousands for their valuable stingers which can fetch as much as $15,000/kg on the black market from superstitious morons who think they’ll make their teeth last longer if they use them as toothpicks. But ultimately, there is no consensus—and worse: no solution.

Bee Space Ship

Honeybees are building ships to transport themselves to Mars. Photo illustration by Dylan Random.

Until now.

Researchers at the University of Calgary say they’ve discovered what is happening to honeybee colonies: the bees are moving their colonies to Mars.

That’s right, Mars. The Red Planet. The planet named after the chocolate bar. The planet with rings around it . . . And soon to be: The Bee Planet.

In the mid-90s, honeybee colony leaders and queens met in secret to discuss the rampant abuse of their species as pollinators. Fed up with having to pollinate corn most of the time, the leaders decided it was time to flee.

Honey-fuelled spaceships—small enough to avoid detections by both aviation authorities and satellites in orbit—were built by the millions and launched into space.

Governments caught on to the plan, and waged war in secret against honeybee colonies, their goal was to convince the bee population to stop the exodus. An estimated 40% of the bee population was killed with biological and chemical weapons, strengthening the remaining bee colony citizen’s resolve.

Dr. Greg Allen, head of the Apiology Department at the University of Calgary, has found one of the honeybees’ spaceships, and has been studying the vessel along with teams from MIT and Columbia University for the last six months. Their findings have not yet revealed how the spaceship operates, and the scientists agree that once the bees have all left Earth, mankind does not have the capacity to chase after them. They have to be stopped.

Governments have been tight-lipped about their true knowledge of Colony Collapse Disorder and don’t wish to instill panic in cities, but Allen says he had to go public with his knowledge.

“This is the eleventh hour,” he said. “This truly is the beginning of the end.”

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