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U=(N/T)M*G: Rust

A rather alarming, but interesting development has occurred in the realms of environmental science and policy. One of humanity’s greatest fellow travelers has earned its place on the endangered species list.

Meet the Bombus Affinis, better know as the rusty patched bumblebee.

Despite the fact that bee stings are so fatal to my mom, I love bees. They’re strong, organized, focused and peaceful. Bees are yet another necessary part of existence continuing on this planet. And they are dying. Without bees, the world, humanity not the least of it, would be in dire straights. Our little fellow terrestrials are the reason we have food and badness abounds if the bees and other pollinators are gone.

However, it does present an interesting question. Several, actually. Authors of fiction, science fiction certainly, can take the declining numbers of the bumblebee and spin it out to its logical conclusion. Maybe further.

What a dying world of such nature look like? What obstacles would protagonists and antagonists face? Can our world be saved, or are we doomed with this loss, and what kind of mad rush to fix it would we see? How would it change our outlook, our societies, our politics, our lives?

Better still, the story of the bumblebees can give use an excellent template for scientific world-building. Yes, even in contemporary or fantasy stories. That lonely beekeeper trying to save her bees would make a great idea, or, perhaps, an entomologist trying to find the spells that would lift some dark curse from the native pollinators. Ideas here can stretch to wide and varied styles of storytelling.

It is my hope, however, that bee extinction never rises to the level of reality. I’m quite content to leave the matter to academia and science fiction. Especially our kind of science fiction.

-T.A. Creech

Author of LGBT romance and speculative fiction.

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