Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Three Pet Peeves

#1 Male bees that talk and are attracted to flowers. We see them in commercials. I don’t mind the talking part, I mind the fact that the bees are male and attracted to flowers. Any bee that is attracted to a flower is a worker bee and ALL workers are female.

A male bee, called a drone, lives for the sole purpose of mating with a virgin queen on her maiden flight, after which he dies. Drones have no stingers nor can they collect nectar or pollen. They have a short tongue which they use to get food from workers or from honey stored in cells.

By late summer when fresh nectar becomes scarce the drones are prevented from feeding by the workers. They are dragged out of the hive, half starved or dead, and tossed to the ground. They have become a liability to the hive because they are, basically, mouths with stomachs that need to be fed. The food they require is needed for the queen, the larvae and the workers that do all the work, like helping to move the air in the hive, thus keeping it at a constant temperature, or tending to the larva, or guarding the entrance against robber bees from other hives that come to steal their honey.

This is the life of a male bee. To see one mooning over a flower is somehow irritating to me. It goes against everything I know and love about bees. And how do I know these things? Because I have been a beekeeper.

#2 This peeve is similar to the one about male bees: male turtles that talk to people on a beach, as seen in a commercial. I don’t mind the talking turtle; I mind that it’s a male looking for all the world as though he’s resting on a beach. An interesting thing about a male turtle is, once he hatches from his sandy nest and makes his way to the water’s edge, once he gets into the ocean, he never, in his entire life time, ever returns to land.

#3 I usually come across this peeve when I’m reading a novel or story. It occurs when the author is trying to describe the aromas and smells of an exotic or tropical setting. Flowers almost always come into play. Frangipani, oleander and jasmine fill the air with their heady perfume, along with…hibiscus. Hibiscus? Well, hibiscuses may indeed be eye candy as they come in a multitude of colors and shapes, but they have no aroma. At best when you put your nose up to them there might be a sort of greenish plant smell and you will get dusted with pollen. This may be a really minor peeve but it bothers me, because it tells me 1.) the author has either never seen or “smelled” a hibiscus 2.) the author knows they don’t smell and ignored the fact and/or 3.) the editor didn’t know either.

Something else about hibiscuses is that they stay open for only a day. One does not need to feel guilty about picking them and making daily floral arrangement. They are as beautiful and ephemeral as sandcastles.

Here are a couple of pictures of a mutant hibiscus, front and back so you’ll know that the one petal wasn’t intentionally placed there by human hands.


  1. Hey my family kept bees too! And I agree with the commercial..especially the one that has Antonio Bandaras' voice.

  2. I think it is a sign of having your creative and scientific priorities in the right place that you don't mind if the bees and turtles talk, as long as they act in bee/turtle appropriate ways! I completely agree.

    Also, I grew up in Florida and I think the hibiscus is the most beautiful flower. There's something so romantic (in the romantic poetry sense) about blooming for one day, eh?

  3. Oh, don't even get me started on pet peeves ...

    By the way, hibiscus tea is wonderfully relaxing and calming for those pet peeves.

  4. Not even the famed "Hoax Carlotta" could boast of any aroma. But, if you actually eat a hibiscus (and the petals are nice in a salad, as well as colorful), when you get to the base where the petals and pistil meet, you'll know why hummingbirds like them so much - nice sweet nectar!


  5. Bish, I think it's wonderful that you have only 3 pet peeves. But I see your points. For me, it's all the so called reality shows which don't come anywhere close to "real" life.


  6. Oh, thank you all for your comments.

    Angela, my grandmother once kept bees too and I have a cousin who has a hive a two. We love bees.

    Jacqui, you're right about wanting my talking animals to behave in an appropriate manner.

    Vijaya, should we start a pet peeve tag?

    I'll have to tell the story of the Hoax Carlotta at some point, Erva.

    And Bonita, I have more than 3 pet peeves, these have just been bugging me lately. Those "reality" shows are equally annoying.

  7. It's interesting what Mother Nature does on occasion, isn't it?


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