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.
A n invasion of Southeast Asian dwarf honey bees, suspected to have entered the country via cargo or passenger ship, and initially detected not far from Kaohsiung Harbor, is causing problems in the city. Since the bees prefer to build their hives on branches, poles or other long cylindrical objects found on balconies, their presence often causes a big shock to residents. In the first half of this year alone, Kaohsiung public health officials have removed more than 500 beehives — a clear indication that the bee population is gradually expanding through the city. In an effort to deal with
A: We still haven’t decided what to do with all these free mangoes. I keep coming up with ideas, and you just shoot them all down. B: I think the fairest thing to do is just divide the boxes between the staff. A: There are 25 boxes and only 20 people working here today. What do we do with the other five boxes? B: Go home and get your blender and the milk and ice. I could do with a smoothie after all this back and forth. A: 我們還沒決定到底要怎麼處理這些免費的芒果。我不停想到一些做法，可是都一直被你打槍。 B: 我覺得最公平的做法，就是把這幾箱平均分配給同事。 A: 這裡有二十五箱，可是今天只有二十個人來上班。那剩下的五箱要怎麼辦？ B: 回去把你的果汁機、牛奶和冰帶來啦！我們討論那麼久，我真的需要喝點冰沙了。 (Paul Cooper, Taipei Times／台北時報林俐凱譯)
What are we going to do with them all? (4/5) 這麼多芒果要怎麼辦？（四） A: OK, I have one more idea about the free mangoes. Just hear me out. I have a blender at home. I’ll be back in a while with some milk and ice, and we’ll make smoothies for the office. We could charge NT$25 a pop, just to cover my costs and labor. B: Instead of thinking about schemes to make money from the management’s generosity, why don’t you do some actual work? Also, do you have any idea how many smoothies 25 boxes of mangoes will make? A: You can’t have too many mango smoothies. It’s the elixir of the gods. People