To Bee or Not to Bee
Bees are important. Really, I would not want to give anyone the impression that I do not value the bee with respect to the ecological world, nor that I mock the role of the beekeeper in our society. But still.
We’ve been warned since the early '70s about the imminent arrival of the killer bees. They made TV movies of the week about it (starring Kate Jackson!). Every few years or so, the story still pops up in the newspaper. We were made to worry: People, the bees are coming! Millions and millions! Run for your lives!
Now, according to this morning’s Times-Dispatch we must worry again about the bees, but this time because they are disappearing. (Different bees, I know.) Collapsing colonies, mites, starvation -- all threaten Virginia’s bee population and therefore pollination and honey production.
Again, not that I don’t care deeply about the $220 per hive the beekeeper loses every time he or she loses a hive, but I still puzzled as I stared at my paper this morning and the giant picture of the tiny creatures. What is wrong with this picture? (Well, other than it being a little dull in its composition, with no framing or scale … Oh, never mind …) My eyes drifted lazily across the dozen items vying for my attention when I found it: down in the lower right corner of the page —— “Democrats call for pulling out of Iraq in ’08.”
I realized I was feeling a slight sense of news vertigo. Everything was topsy-turvy, off balance. The T-D’s front page lately has seemed like a desperate buffet trying to please everyone from the human shovel to the pickiest eater. The other day, the front page featured chunklets on Elliot Yamin, the astronaut chick with the diaper, the George Washington gold dollar and the non-news story that some people never claim their lottery winnings.
Has anyone else noticed this change in the front page? Does it bother anyone but me?