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Letters to the Editor

Posted: Monday, February 11, 2002

A bee line: Parable of a hive and a honey pot that ran dry

Once upon a time there was a large bee hive. Early founders of this hive were hard workers and took a share of nectar produced by their labor. Bees from other hives heard about the honey producing hive and decided to move in to work and partake of a portion of the honey, leaving a portion for their old age and their offspring.

One day a source of honey already processed was found. The colony decided they didn't have to work as hard. Why store when there was a supply ready for the taking? Every bee, even the little bees, was given a portion of this supply with out working for it.

Bees from other parts of the orchard heard about this great deal and moved in. Some even brought their Papa and Mama bees to cash in on this hive of free milk and honey. Some bees came from afar, flew in, picked up their honey and flew out without contributing anything for the maintenance and future of the hive. The hive was flourishing and the little bees were learning all of the bee things they should know for a productive adulthood.

Then, someone found the honey pot was running dry. The controllers of the hive, the drones, weren't about to change the status quo because that would upset the colony and they might get stung at the next election. The attitude seemed to be, "When I went to bee school, all the teacher needed was chalk and a piece of string, and look at me. I get my own quota of life-giving honey and am provided with the hive retirement and medical program."

The young generation, to survive, must improve aerodynamics for faster flight to the source of nectar, know how to use the Global Positioning System to keep in touch with the hive on longer flights and use computers to provide maintenance of the hive to improve production. Bee teachers may have to move to other apiaries in the orchard to improve their standard of living.

May the sons of bees see fit to make sound decisions to improve the present and future well-being of the hive. I hope this story will have a happy ending.

Walt Ward

Retired school district administrator

Kenai



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