Monday, June 8, 2009

Bee, humpin.

Such was the subject of the email I received from my friend Alex this afternoon. She attached this photo and explained it was as close as she could get to the "little dude." (Note that the honeybees that we humans usually come in contact with are overwhelmingly female, as the drone rarely leaves the hive except to relieve himself or to impregnate a queen and die.)
Upon first glance of the photo, I knew this was no honeybee. Its fuzzy cuteness and chubby roundness screamed "bumblebee!" even before I zoomed in on the little perv with my high-tech zooming device.
Two minutes later, I received another email entitled "Still going," with yet another photograph of the lil buzzer, posing the rhetorical question, "Do you think he knows it's not even Hump day?" I chuckled heartily and closed my browser, thinking "Cased Closed."

Boy oh boy was I wrong. Alex, a soon-to-be candidate for a doctorate in philosophy, has an unquenchable curiosity, and she soon hammered my Facebook wall with the public challenge, "just sent you some bee porn. Seriously, if you can figure out why a bee would spend like 20 minutes gently humping a leaf, I'd love to know."

Alex obviously knew that in order to solve this mind-boggler, she'd have to ask an expert. My studies on the Cuckoo Bumblebee enriched my knowledge bank with numerous bumblebee fun facts, enabling me to respond confidently to Alex's query in the following manner:

Dear Alex,

I'm so glad you sent me your email, "Bee, humpin." You pose an interesting question! (Must be the Philosopher in you! Lmao.) The bumblebee's "gently humping" motion that you describe is most likely a male "scent marking" an object with his pheromones in order to attract a young queen. Unlike male honeybees, male bumblebees leave the hive shortly after birth, never to return. The sole purpose of the male bumblebee, (also known as the Mumblebee, a personal nickname) is to lure a young queen to his bachelor pad and dance the horizontal polka with her. A bit of a manwhore, the Mumblebee's stinger isn't barbed like the honeybee's, enabling him to hump his way into the heart of many a queen.

The honeybee male, however, is fated to be a one-woman man. He loses his hindquarters altogether when the queen snaps off his stinger, still inside of her, and flies away, instantly killing the him.

Different species of Mumblebees "hump" for different periods of time, from a few minutes to up to 3 hours. Your Mumblebee must be a 20-minute man.

As for the question re. Hump day, only the big man upstairs knows the answer to that one, and He's not exactly known for His loose lips, if you know what I mean! (Who heard from Him last, anyway? That Mormon dude?)

Anyway, hope this clears up the Mystery of the Bee, Humpin. (SO Nancy Drew!)

Keep philosophizing, duderonomy!


  1. the juxtaposition of this post with the previous one does a better job of explaining why i love your blog than i ever could.

    thanks for solving the mystery, nancy drew! (if you're nancy, i'll be george, and frank is ned nickerson, heh.) your blog has much better pictures than your books.

    also, sucks to be a mumblebee! (that's my opinion as a professional philosopher. i will now take the rest of the evening off.)

  2. Thank you so much! You are an awesome source of information 😀