Bees survive weeks buried under volcanic ash in La Palma

Picture for an article entitled Thousands of honey bees looking down the Spanish volcano Cumbre Vieja.  They won

Photography: Joe Raedle (Getty Images)

Tens of thousands of honey bees in the Spanish Canary Islands can now add a “surviving volcano” to their wish list. Well, since they are bees, we will add that to them.

An interesting and wonderful report in New York Times on Saturday told the story of five beehives left unattended after the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano in La Palma, which erupted on September 19, for about 50 days (their beekeeper was forced to leave the area). In recent weeks, when the beekeeper returned, he found hives covered in volcanic ash.

Inside the hives, however, the scene was completely different. The beekeeper found tens of thousands of live bees, part of the local Black canary the species, which managed to continue despite the heat and poisonous gases released by the volcano, reports the Times. Maybe they were lucky because they were covered light and porous ash, which allowed air to pass through the hives.

However, not all bees on La Palma were so lucky. Spanish news agency reported EFE that the group of hives closest to the main cone of Cumbre Vieja was completely covered with lava, which killed them.

Antonio Quesada, a fellow beekeeper and spokesman for the Gran Canaria Beekeepers Association, said a key part of bee survival was propolis. Propolis, produced by bees, is a sticky substance made from resins that insects collect from plants and buds. Often referred to as “bee glue”, propolis is often used to smooth rough surfaces or seal cracks in hives.

La Palma bees used propolis for the latter. Quesada said they managed to seal themselves in their hives to protect themselves from it volcanic gases, which can be potentially harmful to humans, animals, vegetation and property. The bees also thought about food and ate from the stock of honey they had in their hives.

“It’s amazing how such a small animal that has existed for hundreds of thousands of years can sustain that resilience, that resilience.” – Quesada told the edition.

However, that is not all they did. Although they locked themselves in their hives, they made sure to leave a miniature way out so they could get out one day.

TThe moral of this story is that bees are the best preparations for the end of the world. Given how things are going, we could learn from them. Cumbre Vieja is still erupting, after all, and scientists I have no idea when it will stop.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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