My neighbour in our Mysore apartments complex is bee-friendly by faith. His religion tells him not to harm a creature, even insects that aren’t visible to the naked eye. So when bees settled on his balcony he didn’t do a thing to shoe them away. And one thing led to another; and his third-floor balcony now houses three massive hives for bees.
A beehive on my neighbour’s balcony door makes it out of bounds for people. Bees being bees, they don’t recognise territorial jurisdiction. I have them buzzing around to my balcony, adding to my life’s minor anxieties. I can’t keep my windows open after dusk; they zero in on our lamp-shades, even on my back-lit computer screen.
Bee-hives at my neighbour’s balcony. Taking the matter to our residents association wouldn’t be a good idea. Bees, piegons and monkeys have a powerful lobby in Premier Residency, a 60-apartment residential complex. Piegons come to our terrace for their daily feed from p-friendly apartment residents; monkeys have the run of our place. On the last count I could spot eight other beehives in our residential complex. The last time a monkey-harassed resident took the initiative to hire a monkey-catcher, an animal-rights activist in our block called in the Bhajrang Dal to protest. If I were to move the bees-matter at our association meeting, I might have SPCB squad knocking at my door – that is, Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Bees.
A flowering tree at the bee-ing distance from our balcony. Mercifully, the bee-menace is seasonal; they are up and buzzing only when our neighbourhood tree is in bloom. Wonder where they go rest of the year. Couldn’t get an answer in the website they have created to educate us on bees. I have learnt, for instance, that bees, like humans are diverse creatures – there are 81 known species of bees in Berkeley, California. The City Council there wants to transform parks and open spaces into habitats for bees. This follows news reports about the global decline of pollinators, particularly bees. Other things I have learnt about bees – 1) only females can sting;and 2) irritated bees are more likely to fly away or simply buzz loudly - stinging is not their first choice. Reassuring.