A Swarm of Biblical Proportions

The headline reads:
Swarm of bees that turned sky over British town black
was like “something out of the bible”

OMG: Straight from the Bible!
Bees blacken the sky over Farnham!

Biblical. That’s the way frightened victims in the English town of Farnham reportedly reacted when their daily ritual of buying nappies and playing snookers in the establishments edging the village square was interrupted by a swarm of bees that “Came from nowhere.” and “Blackened the sky.” If indeed the insects “came from nowhere” then the hand of God was certainly involved. Only God can make an entire swarm of, say, 40,000 bees appear instantly from thin air – as he has done on at least one prior occasion. (I looked it up in my huge Bible Concordance – there was the incident of bees forming in the carcass of a lion.)

Curiously, if you go to the news/gossip site reporting the incident, you will see a 30-second video filmed from an office suite. The camera is pointed outside and – if you look very closely – you will see a few dozen bees dotted around the bright clear blue sky. The sky is not blackened, Armageddon did not happen in Surrey County yesterday.

Not to downplay the horror and distress that a swarm of unexpected bees inflicts upon a village, but swarms are usually very tame. And swarms are quite natural – they are God’s way of fighting colony collapse disorder, so they may actually be ‘biblical’, too. It’s too late to give advice to the Farnhammites of Surrey County, but if a swarm ever blackens your sky, here is what you should do. Be calm. Don’t swing your arms around the air (that’s an invitation to fight). Slowly retreat to the doorway of the Black Swan, or any other place that helps you blend into the scenery. And by all means, stiffen the upper lip and continue with the snookers game.

About Ron Miksha

Ron Miksha is a bee ecologist working at the University of Calgary. He is also a geophysicist and does a bit of science writing and blogging. Ron has worked as a radio broadcaster, a beekeeper, and Earth scientist. (Ask him about seismic waves.) He's based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
This entry was posted in Strange, Odd Stuff, Swarms and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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