Tuesday, March 06, 2007

On bees, and the dangers thereof

On bees, and the dangers thereof

The best part of three years ago, I wrote this cautionary tale on the dangers of accepting unsolicited gifts of buzzy insects, when the likes of wasp-fancier Vanessa Feltz are on the prowl, unleashing her evil, leathery offspring on an unsuspecting public.

Alas, come 2007, my words of warning have gone dreadfully, awfully unheeded. I draw your attention to the advertisement in this week's copy of the Radio Times.

EASY BEE: For all your bees and bee-keeping needs

Yeah, right, I'm sure these are wonderful people who care for each and every one of their bees as if they were their own buzzy family members, but this has happened to me far too many times before. Open the lovingly-wrapped DHL carton, read the sweet hand-written note from Feltz and WOOMPH! - a mouthful of five hundred man-eating killer wasps that play merry hell on your complexion, and hurt like buggery when they eventually emerge from the other end.

What happens, I ask, if they get your order wrong, and it's yet another crate of Chinese Fighting Bees? What if - Primeval-style - they're selling bees that have fallen through a time anomaly from the Jurassic Period, and I get one six-foot prehistoric Bee O'Terror who turns out to be my great-great-times-ten-thousand grandfather? Is there a honey back guarantee?* Or, are you stuck in an endless contract with the Readers Digest Bee of the Month Club from which there is no escape?

"You'll never be disappointed with your queens," Easy Bee promise in as blatant a double entendre I've ever read, offering all kinds of bees starting at the knockdown price of £19.50 per bee. How much?!?!

We are reminded, at this time, of the words of Delboy, ancient Egyptian God of Jubbly, who taught us: "This time next year, we'll be millionaires." To this end, I've been out and about with a jar, looking for bees that I might be able to sell on at a substantial mark-up.

It has not gone well, and it appears that those curs at Easy Bee (clearly the latest EasyProject from Stelios Ioniononiou) have cornered the market, leaving me with nothing but a slightly drowned earthworm, a couple of flies I squished near the compost heap and the spider that lives behind the tumble dryer. Our first million may have to wait a while.

Buzzy Top Tip: Looking for a quality present for your wife or girlfriend? A handful of wasps inside an empty Smarties tube makes for an ideal marital aid.

* This is Scaryduckling's best ever joke. Plz to humour her.

Late Early Warning: S. Duck, BBC Radio Berkshire, 7.30am-ish on Tuesday (or, use the listen again button if you're that desperate to hear me).

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