Over the last four years, 20 to 40 percent of the honeybee colonies in the U.S. have mysteriously collapsed. The killer has remained unknown–until now. A team of entomologists, along with military scientists from the Department of Homeland Security, have a new prime suspect (or rather, suspects), as shown in a new report on the science website PLoS One. A tag-team of a virus and a fungus show every sign of being the culprit. Now it’s just a matter of eradicating that dastardly partnership.
Of course, just identifying the culprit is only the first step. The entomologists still have to find a way to stop the tag-team attack. It looks as though they’ll focus on the fungus, which is easier to block and defeat than the virus, and which, if defeated, should be enough assistance to help get honeybee populations back on track. And there’s always more to uncover–the tendency of the bees to wander off just prior to death is still a mystery (a University of Montana doctor actually uses the phrase “insect insanity” as a possible explanation), but that should all come in time.
Today I am putting together a set of Ikea shelves as an act of devotion, running the pieces through my hands like rosary beads, expressing a sweet swell of affection with every screw and wood dowel. On half a whim, Tony and I went to Ikea yesterday, fount of all things storage solution, to unearth a set of shelves to go under my computer desk and slaughter all of the spaghetti cord monster clutter there. We found some that seemed perfect – tiered, white, with a cut away back for cords – but fifty freaking pounds. Not being drivers, either one of us, it was decided that walking the flatpack box to the skytrain would count as an adventure, if a somewhat dubious one, in part spurred by the fact that we both need significantly more exercise and that the station, while a few blocks away, was in no way far. An idea which would have been completely fine if we had walked down the correct highway, which we did not.
Instead of turning down Highway 1 we stubbornly continued along Lougheed, completely ignorant of our missed turn. Eventually we found a gas station and called a cab to rescue us, but not before Tony, bless him, insisted on carrying the unwieldy box alone for about twice the distance as would have been required to get to the train station, all up-hill, proving without a doubt that he is willing to carry my damned metaphorical books as far as a boy can and still walk the next day. And so, today, here I sit, surrounded by computer parts, boards, and pages of wordless instruction manual, assembling the shelf like Lego for grown-ups, breathing his name into every piece so that it may stand in my room as an unobtrusive yet significant statement to love.