Corripuere viam interea, qua semita monstrat.
Iamque ascendebant collem, qui plurimus urbi
imminet, adversasque adspectat desuper arces.
Miratur molem Aeneas, magalia quondam,
miratur portas strepitumque et strata viarum…
Qualis apes aestate nova per florea rura
exercet sub sole labor, cum gentis adultos
educunt fetus, aut cum liquentia mella
stipant et dulci distendunt nectare cellas,
aut onera accipiunt venientum, aut agmine facto
ignavom fucos pecus a praesepibus arcent:
fervet opus, redolentque thymo fragrantia mella.
from Virgil’s Aeneid, Bk 1 418-422, 430-436
The Latin Library http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/vergil/aen1.shtml
Ok, so Aeneas does not see bees on the mountain, but looking down from a summit does remind him of bees.
But he could as easily have seen bees or bumblebees at least, because apparently they are common in the mountains. Scientists are just discovering now how this is possible, given “reduced air density and oxygen:”
Dillon and his team of researchers found that the bees they collected could fly at air pressure equivalents exceeding 24,275 feet (7,400 meters) above sea level, equivalent to some of the lower peaks in Nepal’s Annapurna mountain range. Two bumblebees were able to fly at more than 29,525 feet (9,000 meters)—higher than Mount Everest.This surprised the scientists, especially (and I love this image):
‘As humans, we’re cold, we’re having trouble breathing, and we’re having to run around with nets to catch these bees that are zipping around as if it was nothing,’ Dillon said, recounting the experience.
It’s not the case that the bumbles wings beat faster, but that they make a wider arc through the air. The bumbles that could fly the highest were the most muscular–the body builders of the bee world.
I tot I saw a bee
Mon 17 Feb: opened both hives briefly just to make sure there is a writhing ball of bodies. Yes to both….
20 Feb warm day and the bees have emerged! Even pollen collection going on…
Of course, that night a frost and much colder temperatures. It will be a wonder if they survive….
Sat and Sun and Monday: Bees in both hives out. And in a mellow mood as it happens. I was standing beside one hive and a couple landed on me, just curious and taking a rest. It really was a treat to see one that close, just nosing around.
Of course, this is a bit of a double-edged sword. Because if the good weather continues and if we have a good March as we have had the last couple of years, they will have kicked it up a notch and probably get swarmy. We are considering turning one of our nukes into a swarm catcher. Any other swarm deterrent measures are pretty difficult for us as our queens are not marked. Both queens are not even a year old, so I’m hoping they might stick around and not harass the neighbourhood….
Meanwhile they’ve tackled the route the path revealed.
And soon they climbed the hill that looms high over the city,
and looks down from above on the towers that face it.
Aeneas marvels at the mass of buildings, once huts,
marvels at the gates, the noise, the paved roads….
Just as bees in early summer carry out their tasks
among the flowery fields, in the sun, when they lead out
the adolescent young of their race, or cram the cells
with liquid honey, and swell them with sweet nectar,
or receive the incoming burdens, or forming lines
drive the lazy herd of drones from their hives:
the work glows, and the fragrant honey’s sweet with thyme.
from Poetry in Translation http://www.poetryintranslation.com/PITBR/Latin/VirgilAeneidI.htm#_Toc535054299