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Workaholics Anonymous


Worker Bee, Coorg

All work and no play makes Jill a good bee. And a ‘live’ bee. For it’s not unknown for the hive bosses, to knock off Worker Bees suspected to be sleeping on the job. No sir… it just won’t do. There’s a lot of work to be done. Hives to be built, honey to be produced, Drones to be fed… and all this can’t begin unless our indefatigable workers do their job of collecting pollen and nectar. So now we know where the term, ‘hard work never killed anybody’ perhaps originated. Come to think of it, the mind boggles at the thought of a Worker Bee with a pollen allergy. We humans can take a day off and return, nebulizer in tow, but our worker runs the risk of becoming an ex-bee, and the inscription on her tombstone might well read ‘pollen to pollen, dust to dust’. These workaholics, however, don’t just toil for the queen bee, but for mankind as well. Consider how most of our crops and food grains get pollinated only because of these industrious girls, and you’ll realize that we owe our very survival to them. In fact the picture above is critical for the survival of Coorg itself. We see the bee collecting pollen from a coffee blossom, ready to deposit it at the hive. What we don’t see is how critical this activity is to coffee production, and how, without it, we won’t wake up to our favourite Coorg cuppa. All considered, we can be excused for joining in the chorus ‘Workers of the world unite; you’ve nothing to lose but your pollen’.


Photograph: Amoghavarsha Story: Rajesh Ramaswamy

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