04 September 2006

Coughs and sneezes...

Took 20 frozen bees to the Surrey Beekeepers' Association (Wimbledon Division) for disease diagnosis, and they were given a clean bill of health.

We chopped the heads off some bees, and looked at the trachea for signs of acarine (a mite that infects the airways): all clear. The remaining twenty or so bees, we chopped off the abdomens, ground them up and inspected the resulting goo for nosema, a spore that infects the gut. Again, a clean bill of health.

It's a violent way to diagnose diseases, and it felt cruel. On the other hand, with some 35,000 or more bees, it's for the greater good of the hive.

Very Orwellian.

Toby Chapman-Dawe

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