Bee-wildering disorder

Will there come a time when there will be no more bees? Or does the cow simply have a bee in her bonnet?

Dear Aristotle,

I am really curious to know what the curious cat said about me. I do not take tea. Never have and never will. Just had cow’s milk when I was a calf. Now, it is just green grass.

I read the letters with great eagerness but I must confess too much of reading confuses me. Puzzles puzzle me as I am sure they do to you too. We cows are grass-eaters; so who are the beef-eaters? Not we, for that would make us carnivores — worse, cannibals. Lions, of course, do not eat grass. This is absurd. Writers should check facts before they post something.

Woe beetide

Take this letter, for example. I have the info straight from the horse’s mouth — only the horse is not a horse but a farmer. Should I say — straight from the farmer’s mouth… though straight from the farm is the usual expression. Are you bemused? Never mind, just read on.

The problem started in the winter of 2006. It is getting bigger, for no one knows the cause of the problem. If it continues, we will have no fruits and vegetables. I have no issues with that. Remember, I eat grass; preferably green and not beef, as some confused writers are saying. However, some of you may do so. Oh, sorry — I haven’t told you the problem, right?

As I was saying or rather not saying, bees, the worker honey bees are disappearing from their colonies. Hives are left abandoned, the little immature ones left to the mercy of predators. What is happening to the workers? Are they on strike? Who knows? Scientists think the death of bees could be due to micro-organisms, pesticides or … global warming, climate change or cell-phone radiation or anything. They could even be allergic to pollen… I think it is possible. I mean, any or all of them could be the cause of CCD. Umm, how did I remember that? Easy! I just made up this sentence — Cows Can Dance. Simple, isn’t it? Colony Collapse Disorder — that’s what it really is. I do hope they find a solution — a remedy for CCD. Those poor things should not suffer. So what if they cannot dance? We can, but no comparisons, please. We cows are lucky. We have no problems at all. We do not dance till we collapse.

Keep up your good work! Everybody, keep writing!


Reply from


Friends, I apologize for this beewildering letter. Let me explain what Ms Cow is trying to say. For nearly a decade now, scientists are trying to figure out why worker honey bees are abruptly abandoning hives, leaving behind eggs, honey, pollen and their queen. This is another mess created by man, for which he is going to pay a heavy price. There will be no bees to pollinate fruit trees and vegetable corps. Hence, no fruits and vegetables. What a pity!

Published as part of a series titled ‘Aristotle’s Mailbag’ in Young World, The Hindu, dt. January 14, 2014


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