The buzz at the Statehouse


First Posted: 4/27/2015

News item: A hive of honeybees was installed last week on the grounds of the Statehouse as part of Earth Day festivities.

The honeybees newly introduced to the Statehouse are adapting to their environment in unexpected ways, according to researchers.

Within hours of the hive’s arrival on the grounds, the bees had split into two factions: a larger group of bees with a reddish hue and a smaller one whose members have a bluish cast.

Though technically still working together for the good of the hive, the rival bee groups have begun to display signs of hostility, a bee scientist said.

“You know that little dance bees do to tell their colleagues where to find nectar? Bees from one group were deliberately misleading bees from the other. That’s how we ended up with a swarm waiting in line at a Taco Bell drive-through on the West Side.”

The bees don’t use their stingers against one another, but several are quite skilled at employing tiny gavels to silence buzzing from their opponents.

The hive is governed by executive, legislative and judicial bees — all united by a common principle: To get near them, bees not in power have to contribute honey.

“Bees that show up with little or no honey get a pat on the head and are promptly sent away,” a researcher said. “But the big contributors are ushered into the halls of power and treated like royalty. I guess you could say that honey talks.”

As word spread around the Statehouse about the strange behavior of the bees, crowds of curious onlookers gathered to observe them.

Two lobbyists from the fracking industry even tried to enter the hive.

“We’re used to being able to throw our weight around at the Statehouse,” said one, picking stingers out of his cheek.

“It’s kind of a habit.”

The National Rifle Association, fascinated by where bees keep their stingers, said it might push legislation that allows for more intimate storage of guns.

“That is some serious concealed carry right there, dude,” an admiring NRA lobbyist said.

Although the Statehouse seems to have taught the bees new patterns of behavior, the opposite seems not to be true.

Bees — with their nonstop nectar collecting, prodigious honey-making and rapid wing beats — are interesting but have little to teach politicians, a Statehouse observer said.

“State legislators have always flitted from position to position and gotten themselves into sticky situations. Plus, they can flap their lips 230 times a second. Welcome to the big league, bees.”

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