Choices

Once a week we watch TV on our ‘renewal’ night, this is our community recreation. Last night we watched a film about the Giant Hornets which wreck havoc in Japan by decimating the domestic European honey bee population. The female workers, loyal to their Queen, feed the growing larvae and for that they need ‘meat’. So the workers go and raid hives for their larvae then feed them to the ever growing population of avaricious hornet larvae.

The local bee keepers destroy Hornets nests. In the film a Buddhist monk, who harvests honey each year by attracting wild honey bees to his hives, does not do this. Interestingly enough the wild bees were better adapted to protecting their hives than the European ones. They simply smother the scouting Hornet by swarming all over it and flap their wings to raise the temperature. Hornets can’t take the extra heat and are thus effectively cooked to death.

One of the monks remarked how interesting it was to watch ones mind while watching the hornets wrecking havoc killing the honey bees and the general death and destruction depicted in the film. With my renewed audio awareness what I was noticing were the sounds. You could hear the munching and crunching and buzzing. I was wondering how on earth the film crew managed to catch the sounds, or were they sound effects…

I’m not sure why in particular these hornets, and the film, grabbed my attention. I do however now remember that the monk in the film had been attacked by a swarm of the Giant Hornets as a child and survived. Now each year he seems to seek out the all important Queen who, early in the season, feeds on tree sap and is easy to spot. He could have been afraid of them, he could at least keep his distance but actually he appears to loves them as he loves the wild honey bees too.

Interesting the choices we can make in life, and how choices in the natural world are few.

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