Marijuana farmers tried it with bears, and now a parks and recreation department in Wales wants to do it with bees: critters as cheap security.
It didn't work out all that well with the bears. They just kind of lollygagged while Canadian cops raided the marijuana farm. But bees are different. Bees swarm. It's so crazy it just might work.
The area to be secured is a collection of abandoned historic mill buildings in Greenfield Valley Heritage Park near Flintshire in Wales. The structures have become a haven for vandals who threaten to destroy the site. And bees would theoretically be cheaper than a highfalutin high-tech security system. Plus, technology does not pollinate flowers or make honey, which could really come in handy in a park!
Farmers and security administrators have used animals including guard dogs, llamas and donkeys to keep out bad guys. According to Grit, a website devoted to rural American know-how: "Braying loudly first, a donkey will chase, kick and stomp a coyote, dog or wolf." And one only costs between $US200 and $US600.
But bees? One would think bees might be more unpredictable. But did you know that the insects are being trained as sniffer bees to detect drugs and explosives? The Wales park administrators are still in discussions about the bumblebee idea, and there's no indication they plan any training. But it's good to know the option exists. At the very least, a beekeeping set up would keep the bees generally congregated around the mill buildings.
I very much hope this is the storyline for a future episode of Parks and Rec. It would be Leslie Knope's idea, of course. They would make poor Jerry install the bees, Tom would try to sell all the honey for $US100 per jar, meanwhile Andy would eat it all. In the end Ron Swanson would solve the problem by transforming the old buildings into a canoe restoration centre. [BBC]