Over a thousand honeybees forming an elliptical shape as they gather on a cherry tree instead of staying in a beehive was something that farm owner Tsai Cheng-ming had never seen in the several decades that he has lived on Jinjhen Mountain in Taitung County’s Taimali Township. After observing the bees for nearly two hours, the following day when he went back the bees were nowhere to be found. Tsai Nu-jen, head of Taitung District Agricultural Research and Extension Station’s Department of Crop Environment, says that this is a natural swarming phenomenon among China’s wild honeybees, typically occurring in the spring. It means that the local ecological environment is doing well, he says.
Tsai Cheng-ming, owner of Chingshan Farm on Jinjhen Mountain, says that on the morning of Feb. 23 when he was cleaning up his farm he came across a ball-shaped object on a tree by the side of the road. After walking closer to it, he discovered that it was a swarm of over a thousand bees. The “ball of bees” was squirming around on the 3m-tall cherry tree, approximately 1.5 from the ground, Tsai says, adding that the elliptical shape was about 20cm in diameter.
Tsai Nu-jen says that this particular swarm of honeybees from China was in the middle of swarming. Once a group of honeybees grows large and strong enough, it produces a new queen, he says, adding that the old queen leaves the colony and takes a swarm of bees with her, which gathers on a tree until the swarm is complete. Then it prepares to move to a suitable location to make a new colony, while the old colony is left to the new queen bee. The phenomenon of swarming is most commonly seen in the spring, particularly among wild Chinese honeybees. The so-called ball of bees is only a temporary gathering — a natural phenomenon that should not alarm people. Swarming means that a group of honeybees is gradually getting stronger. Seeing a group of bees swarming in the wild is good news, especially in recent years with increasing numbers of bee colonies disappearing.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)
Photo: Wang Hsiu-ting, Liberty Times
Photo: Wang Hsiu-ting, Liberty Times
1. elliptical adj.
橢圓形的 (tuo3 yuan2 xing2 de5)
例: The moon follows an elliptical path around the earth.
2. ecological adj.
生態的；生態學的 (sheng1 tai4 de5; sheng1 tai4 xue2 de5)
例: Destruction of the rain forests is a major ecological problem.
3. temporary adj.
暫時的；短暫的 (zan4 shi2 de5; duan3 zan4 de5)
例: This is only a temporary setback. We’ll be back on our feet in no time.
Taiwan has recently been hit by a succession of cold spells. The Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Health Promotion Administration (HPA) has issued a special reminder for scooter and motorcycle riders to beware of strong winds that could cause their body temperature to drop too fast, and to take precautions against the cold. People should memorize the warning signs of heart disease and stroke, and anyone who suffers from facial drooping, arm weakness or speech difficulties should promptly be taken for medical treatment. All parts of Taiwan have been experiencing cold weather under the influence of a strong continental cold
B: I envy your friend. I’d love to work from home. A: He doesn’t mind not being able to meet his colleagues face to face every day. Still, even he occasionally misses the office buzz and ability to socialize. His wife finds the situation more difficult, though. B: Why? She doesn’t like him hanging around the house all day? A: No, she has a job, too, with many international clients, and she’s used to traveling overseas on a regular basis. She’s finding the situation a bit disorientating. B: 我好羨慕你朋友喔，我很想在家工作。 A: 不能每天跟同事見面，他並不介意。可是他偶爾還是會想念辦公室充滿活力的氣氛，可以跟大家社交。可是現在這種情況對他太太來說比較難熬。 B: 為甚麼？他太太不喜歡他一天到晚都在家晃來晃去？ A: 不是，他太太自己也有工作，而且有很多國際客戶，以前常常出國。現在這種情況讓她覺得有點無所適從。 （Paul Cooper, Taipei Times／台北時報林俐凱譯） English
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I certainly won’t miss the commute! (5/5) 我對通勤是絕對不會想念的！（五） A: With global telecommunications, wireless connectivity and the death of the office, it will be possible to work from anywhere. B: So you think you could just take off to a beach or a beautiful, sun-soaked spot in an idyllic part of the world and do your work from there? A: If we could do it, many others could, too. There wouldn’t be an idyllic place left on Earth. They’d all be crowded with people shouting into their mobile devices or tapping away on their keyboards. A: 有了全球電信系統、無線網路，再加上辦公室的消失，以後要在哪裡工作都可以。 B: 所以你想這樣就可以到海邊，或者世界上某個詩情畫意、陽光普照的地方去，在那裡工作？ A: 如果我們可以這樣，很多人也可以呀！這樣地球上就不會有什麼詩情畫意的地方了。因為這些地方都會擠滿人，大家都大聲講手機，或是在鍵盤上劈哩啪啦打字。 （Paul Cooper, Taipei Times／台北時報林俐凱譯） English 英文: