Dudley Dooright would feel right at home with this story out of Canada. A beekeeper in Shelburne, Nova Scotia asked the local detachment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for assistance. He needed help rounding up his bees. It seems that half of them had left.
"The beekeeper came to us and said that he lost half of his bees, about 30,000 to 40,000 of them," said Cheryl Decker, spokeswoman for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as the Mounties are officially known.
"He said they were last seen near a Tim Horton's" donut shop on the edge of town, said the spokeswoman for the detachment in Shelburne, Nova Scotia. "He wanted us to help him round them up."
"It's the first time that the police have been called in to help capture bees," she noted.
Beekeeper Rodney Dillinger told AFP the colony was likely "stressed" and became dissatisfied with their queen. So, they raised a rival queen and then sent her into exile.
But half of the hive left with the deposed queen to "look for a new home."
"It's a common occurrence and they are not dangerous, but they look ugly to people who are not familiar with bees and I'm worried someone may attack them with a broom or a stick," he said.
Please note: these are thoroughly Canadian bees. Before embarking on their journey they stopped at a Tim Horton's donut shop. How Canadian is that, eh? More importantly, this brings up a very serious question. Read Dillinger's quote again: "But half of the hive left with the deposed queen to "look for a new home. It's a common occurrence and they are not dangerous…."
There was a lot of media hysteria over missing hives of bees earlier this year and a recent spate of stories of bee swarms turning up in unusual places. Now we are told that palace coups are quite common in the bee world. Is any of that related? It seems at least possible, does it not?