WTF Fun Fact 12701 – Like A Fish Out Of Water

We may not all love bees, but we can’t live without them since they pollinate the crops that make the food we eat (among other integral ecological roles). That makes protecting them integral to our future.

In California, that means considering them “fish” for conservation purposes.

The law is a weird thing sometimes. In this case, it required some creative thinking in order to make sure bees got protected status under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA).

Others had argued that the Act protects only “birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and plants” – in other words, not insects like bees. They won the original court case, but it was just overturned by a Sacramento Court of Appeal.

According to Reuters:

“While ‘fish’ is ‘commonly understood to refer to aquatic species, the term of art employed by the Legislature … is not so limited,’ Associate Justice Ronald Robie wrote for the appeals court.
CESA itself does not define “fish,” but the law is part of the California Fish and Game Code. The code’s definition includes any ‘mollusk, crustacean, invertebrate (or) amphibian,’ Robie wrote. All those categories ‘encompass terrestrial and aquatic species,’ and the state legislature has already approved the listing of at least one land-based mollusk, the opinion said.
‘Accordingly, a terrestrial invertebrate, like each of the four bumblebee species, may be listed as an endangered or threatened species,’ Robie wrote, joined by Acting Presiding Justice Cole Blease and Associate Justice Andrea Lynn Hoch.'”

The case is Almond Alliance of California et al. v. Fish and Game Commission et al, Xerces Society For Invertebrate Conservation et al, intervenors; California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, No. C093542.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “Bees are ‘fish’ under Calif. Endangered Species Act – state court” — Reuters

WTF Fun Fact 12609 – Unexpected Tenants Cause a Buzz

Justin and Andrea Isabell never had plans to invite tenants into their 100-year-old Perkasie, Pennsylvania home. But nature finds a way.

The couple went viral in 2020 after Tropical Storm Fay rolled through and left them with a mysterious substance running down the walls of their mudroom. Justin decided that the best way to solve the mystery was to taste the substance which (lucky for him) was honey.

After the recent tropical rainstorm soaked our area, we walked in the house through the backdoor and were faced with a stream of something coming down the walls,” Andrea told TODAY. “I was afraid it was water damage, but my husband made a closer inspection to discover it was honey. We were pretty surprised and didn’t understand how that could happen.”

Only after the discovery did they see the bees swarming around their rooftop. They had never spotted nor heard that creatures before that.

I was pretty overwhelmed imagining what a mess this would be to clean up combined with the costs of repair to the house after the bees were removed,” Isabell said.

The clean-up only involved removing the honey and the comb. It turns out the bees had largely given up on their squatting rights after the rainstorm damaged the honeycomb.

“The comb was damaged from the rainstorm and they’re too smart to stay and have that happen again,” Isabell said. “We will still be having the comb removed and see if we can determine how long we had unknown guests.”

The couple’s Facebook photos went viral, and even show Justin licking the wall.

In their final update, they told those following the story:

“FINAL UPDATE: Bees naturally swarmed off due to the damage to their hive that caused the honey leak the Sunday/Monday after all of this hit the internet. They were found 2 days later as a massive swarm in a neighbor’s tree. The beekeeper, from Yerkes Farm, collected all bees and queen and re-hived them at his location. The bees survived. My house has not been opened up yet as the bees aren’t an issue any longer… when I open the wall, I will take pictures if hive is significant.” – WTF fun facts

Source: “After noticing honey dripping down their walls, couple discover bee problem” — TODAY

WTF Fun Fact – Why Hexagon Honeycombs?

WTF Fun Fact - Why Hexagon Honeycombs

The holes in honeycombs start as circular tubes staggered with one another. The heat formed by the activity of the bees then softens the wax, which connects the gaps between the holes. Finally, the wax hardens into the the most energy efficient shape, the hexagon. – WTF Fun Facts