Susan Morrison: Bumblebees – the Boris Johnsons of the insect world

Bumblebees have  a definite air of Boris Johnson about them (Picture: PA)
Bumblebees have a definite air of Boris Johnson about them (Picture: PA)
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Opening the front door to reveal a scene of chaos and panic is not unusual for me. I regard pandemonium as a natural state of affairs. There are moments of calm, but they are usually very late at night, until at least one cat knocks over something glass in the bathroom, just to keep the vibe going.

There were children flying all over the place. Well, only two, but they are both grown up, so they make up in mass what smaller children do in number. The hullaballoo was quickly explained. There was a bee in the bedroom.

There is only one way to deal with a bee. During the summer I always keep to hand a stout glass and a piece of paper. Top tip, people, unopened junk mail is exceptionally effective, especially the stuff from the window people. It’s a bit shiny and slides nicely under the glass. At least there’s some use for it.

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The children wailed, quailed and shouted: “Protect us, mummy.” Ha! So the old girl still has some uses, eh?

I armed up with glass and paper and went in like Ripley in Alien. With one swift move I got the buzzy gal into my glass and set her free in the garden, where, I am delighted to report, she took off like a good ’un over the back fence. I watched her go with the satisfied air of a World War II Wing Commander benevolently gazing over Spitfires rising to do battle.

Honestly, all I need was a uniform, a pipe and one of those nicknames English public-school boys like so much, like Pogo, Bingo or Bojo.

We’ve been getting a lot of bee-invasions, and I for one am quite happy about this.

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These are yer actual honey bees. They tend to be smaller and more working-class looking. They have a job to do and they get on with it, when they are not blundering into teenagers’ bedrooms, that is, although being a girl who works hard for a living, you’d expect her to help a sister out with a bit of tidying up.

None of that lazy droning about for the hard-working honey bee. They leave that to the bumble, which is about the size of the Hindenburg and notable for bumping into windows for the sole purpose of annoying cats.

They have the definite air of Boris Johnson about them, only not quite so dangerous to world peace.