Cynics scoffed and said that it would go the same way as the ‘War on Terror’ and the ‘War on Drugs’, two more scourges of mankind that were too ubiquitous to fight properly. Yet as of today, when the last remaining honey bee was humanely destroyed in a laboratory in Cambridge, humankind has finally triumphed over one of its most ruthless and cynical adversaries.
‘At last after thousands of years, we can finally look forward to picnics no longer being disrupted by these furry jam-crazed psychopaths with their slightly irritating humming noise,’ said Professor Norman Jensen of the Insect Research Unit at the university’s Department of Zoology.
After years of trials, scientists working in cross-national teams from Europe and America finally managed to infiltrate bee terrorist cells and cause them to collapse gradually from 2006 onwards. This was largely thanks to new techniques of warfare based on the neonicotinoid class of pesticides, which caused many militant bees to get lost on the way home to their ‘hives’. The first confirmation that this strategy might be working came in the summer of 2008, when a threatened wave of suicide assaults on people eating ice cream on Blackpool beach failed to materialise.
Some, meanwhile, have accused the politicians and scientists of arrogance in assuming that they alone have brought about the victory. In the US, there have been calls for the Congressional Medal of Honour to be awarded to the humble varroa mite, which is said to deserve much of the credit for bravely attaching itself to the bees’ receptors and causing their wings to deform. Millions of the heroic mites have died in the process.
‘I’ll admit to a grudging respect for bees,’ said Jenson. ‘The way they funded their assault on civilisation by getting us to buy honey from them was pure genius, the conniving little bastards. But now, no more peering nervously into the bushes! No more waving our arms about in a comically unco-ordinated way whenever they blunder past an open kitchen door! Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty we are free at last.’