Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Another Hawaiian Monk Seal at Honokohau; Where are the Bees of yesteryear?


This isn't the same monk seal I saw in November. This one is smaller, greener, and has writing on its side. It was lying close to the path, so I walked makai to get by. Its eyes were closed, but when my shadow crossed its face, it put its head up and gave me something between a grunt and a snort to warn me off, even though I was already moving away.

A more disturbing observation: there are no bees in the park. The Hawaiian caper, Maiapilo, opens its flowers at sunset. Just last year, the bees swarmed the flowers as soon as they opened, and even tried to pry them open before sunset. The scene looked like this:

video
Last year, every night, each new flower had at least one, and usually more than one bee after its nectar. Tonight, at sunset, a few Maiapilo were opening, but there were no bees. Not one. This can't be good. I'll call the park biologist tomorrow.

UPDATE: The park biologist said they haven't noticed any fewer bees, and that they hadn't taken out any hives, but that they appreciate getting feedback from cranks crackpots concerned citizens like me. And I did see a couple of bees this evening, so maybe it was just break time for them the other night. Also, the writing on the monk seal was done by an authorized professional, with bleach, not some kid doing a prank.

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