I dreamt about bees and chemicals and girls and yellow dogs this morning.
There is a girl and a yellow dog and a beehive. In the rest of the world, all the bees have died and the world’s food resources are halved. The rich harvest the labour of the poor, and so people are starving, dying, desperate.
There’s rumours that not all bees have died. There’s rumours that there are small ecological pockets scattered all over the globe, places where chemicals were never used, places that haven’t used chemicals in decades, places where there is no farming, and the bees are unharmed. Rumours, panic, and wild, blind hope.
There are bees in this one little place, in a backyard on the outskirts of a large city, and the bees belong to a girl and her yellow dog. The local beekeeping association and local scientists are working on Why Are These Bees Alive and so far they have found out that the bees die when removed from their home – they never make it to the labs – and there is much Headscratching. Hushed voices and furtive looks. So much secrecy.
And this girl just tends to her bees.
How do you keep bees secret when your neighbourhood is the only neighbourhood in the country whose apple and peach trees still bear fruit? How do you keep bees secret when they swarm, swarm, swarm? How do you keep bees secret when the world is so painfully aware of their absence that their presence equals instant suspicion?
Desperate people, greedy people, they all bear down on the bees, they need the bees, they say, so the world won’t collapse. They need the bees, they say, so they won’t starve. They need the bees, they say, so they can sell them to highest bidder…
The girl defends herself with a broom and a yellow dog, with the army at her back and a scientist by her side.
I don’t know how this story ends. With hope, I hope. With bees and yellow dogs and blueberries in the wild. I dreamt of bees and golden honey and lush gardens, but I also dreamt of a world on the verge of collapse, of hunger and desperation and manual labour.