But what is your favorite animal? For years I loved the camel above all, that proud desert animal capable of making or breaking empires in the Middle East. Now, I’d say its the hummingbird fluttering so delicately on the wind though though I might swap with the lowly honeybee as it was just revealed in The New York Times that when they fall into water, they can create their own waves and ride them to safety but don’t take my word for it. Take the Grey Lady’s.
If their honey-making and pollination prowess weren’t enough, there’s a new reason to appreciate honeybees: They’re world-class surfers.
Beyond pollinating flowers, worker bees — which are all females — are given the job of searching for water to cool their hives. But if they fall into ponds, their wings get wet and can’t be used to fly. A team of researchers at the California Institute of Technology found that when bees drop into bodies of water, they can use their wings to generate ripples and glide toward land — like surfers who create and then ride their own waves.
“When they fall in the water, they have to find a way to get to shore as a matter of survival,” said Chris Roh, a Caltech research engineer and lead author of the study, published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “It’s a ‘to bee or not to bee’ situation.”
On the piece goes, detailing this and that and it is very interesting but I became distracted by the guffaws and “yeah rights” emanating from Hawaii, being blown on gentle trade winds to Lemoore, California then rushing straight into my ears.
“Create their own waves and ride them?” the voice bellows. “I’ve been doing that for years.”
And what sort of backhanded compliment do you think Kelly Slater, the greatest of all-time, will deliver to the honeybee? How will he both diminish their accomplishments while shifting the spotlight to his own?
Will he get “caught” during his HBO 24/7 episode making a cup of chamomile tea, stirring in stevia instead of honey while declaring, “Studies show honey is super bad for you…” as the camera zooms in for a tight shot?
More as the story develops.