To the National Bee Unit in Basingstoke, Hampshire, where researchers have made a breakthrough in their investigations around one of the big scientific questions in recent years and are now close to discovering the reason for the sharp decline in national honey bee levels, and what lies behind the phenomenon of ‘Colony Collapse Disorder’. “Early theories put bee deaths down to the overuse of pesticides or increased pollution.” Head of the unit’s ‘Bee Health Division’ Griselda Thorkwung told Home Defence. “That or attacks from mites and the pathogenic diseases they carry. But after months of dedicated study these conventional theories proved to be dead ends. That was when one of our lab assistants pointed out the similarities in all these cases of mass disappearance and posited foul play. At first we dismissed him as a goth with an overactive imagination, but the more I looked into the mass bee disappearances the more I suspected he had a “We tracked a number of instances of Colony Collapse Disorder around Europe this decade and found some disturbing links.” Thorkwung continued. “In each case, be it the five million Croatian bees wiped out in forty-eight hours during 2005, or the 40% of Polish honey-makers who disappeared three years earlier, the
modus operandi was always the same. There was little sign of forced entry, and few insect bodies remained to
indicate criminal activity. In every case a farmer would return to his hive one morning to find all his bees had
vanished, passing through many emotions including confusion and uncertainty before dropping to his knees,
lifting his face to the sky and screaming out: “NOOOOO!!”
The bumblebee is a specialized form of insect with a long proboscis used to pollinate flowering plants and just
generally show off. This common household creature with its characteristic yellow and black plumage feeds on
nectar and pollen and is much coveted by humans because of its utilitarian ways. In fact, over 130,000
essential plants require a bee intervention each year and without pollination many products the human race
deems vital wouldn't get produced. With an estimated two billion bees (a third of the British population)
dying during the winter of 2008, it may be impossible for shops to stock home-produced honey much longer,
while the long-term outlook is even grimmer. As Einstein is quoted as saying; when the bees disappear, a few years later mankind will follow.
Horrified by this discovery, and increasingly certain the drastic downturn in creature numbers was caused neither by pollution nor parasites, the National Bee Unit chose to share its evidence with MI5. The security services initially laughed at them down the phone, but when Special Investigator Lachlan Swarfega, head of the organisation’s ‘Insect Liaison Division’, became involved, the suspicions were taken more seriously.
“Our investigations quickly led us to conclude these were illegal acts; crimes that could be traced to a single culprit.” Investigator Swarfega told HDUK over coffee and buns in a café on Vauxhall Bridge Road. “Having psychologically profiled the suspect at length, we believe him to be an anti-apiarian insect with a grudge. Perhaps he was abused by an errant bumblebee at an early age, or simply harbours homicidal jealousy against valuable and pretty insects. That’s why we think a wasp would fit the bill and the ILD has directed all its resources to tracking suspects that meet the wasp profile. After all, what use is a wasp? The circumstantial evidence is compelling. Several beekeepers have reported seeing a wasp in a mask flying away from their empty hives, sometimes holding a tiny medical bag and grinning malevolently.” Indeed, the intelligence services have produced a photofit of the wasp they want to question and are appealing to the public for help. The murderous insect allegedly tricks its way into the presence of bees by pretending to be from the council and, once inside the hive, sweet talks its way into the Queen’s presence before dispatching her without mercy. Lacking their charismatic female leader, the remaining bees are left disoriented and upset and as such are easy prey for a psychopathic wasp with an encyclopaedic knowledge of body disposal techniques.
“We believe this individual, whom we are calling ‘Wasp W’, has been operating internationally for years, moving illegally between borders when the authorities threaten to catch up with him.” A grim-faced Lachlan Swarfega went on. “Being so small and leaving no forensic evidence in his wake, Wasp W has proven very difficult to catch, but he’ll make a mistake eventually.”
Investigator Swarfega then took a sip of his coffee and glanced out the window. “Maybe that book ‘Does
Anything Eat Wasps?’ was the final straw.” Lachlan mused. “All I can say for sure is that we’ve rarely
witnessed carnage on this scale. What if the bloodlust doesn’t stop at bees? The human race could be
next on this maniac’s list and that frightens me, there’s nothing worse than being stung by a wasp.
We’ve been trying to get Interpol and the Metropolitan Police to help but to no avail. The force
have repeatedly rebuffed our advances, saying they’re too busy arresting Tory MPs and ‘fighting terror’
to worry about a few bees. They’ll think again when humanity is forced to spread honey-flavoured
synthetic spread on its toast rather than the real thing, you mark my words.”