What a beautiful morning! Key West at its best. Sun shining, sky blue. Water and wind quiet. The calm before the storm? It has been raining heavy most of the month.

There is a world wide war against mosquitoes. Especially, ZIKA causing ones. Even in the Florida Keys. Mosquitoes like you would not believe!

Until recently, I would have said we in the lower Keys have no problem. A terrific Mosquito Control Board. Now, problems.

ZIKA has driven everyone crazy. News of the ZIKA problem hit us in January. Everyone rushed to do something.

A decision was made by the local Board to test genetically modified bees. Basically untested. The test would be done on the small key of Key Haven. My home. The locals have been up in arms. whether such testing can take place is pending on the November ballot to see if we want it.

In the meantime, there have been a total of four ZIKA cases reported in the Keys. The Keys about 140 miles long running north from Key West to the mainland. The four cases not caused by Keys’ mosquitoes. All were contacted out of the area. Means in another country.

The rush to protect has not only affected the Florida Keys. People are going crazy everywhere. Reminds me of Ebola, which turned out to be a bust.

South Carolina was in a hurry to do something re the ZIKA problem.

Naled is an old time pesticide. Thought to be dangerous to humans. Rarely used. South Carolina did not care. On the last sunday of August for two hours, South Carolina had planes spray naled. In the Dorchester area.

South Carolina is also home to beekeepers. Beekeeping a business in South Carolina. Where sprayed, bees were killed instantly. Millions of them. One beekeeper had 46 hives. He lost 2.5 million bees instantaneously.

It is a month later and no one knows what effect, if any, the spraying had on the mosquitoes.

The bees nuked. Apocalypse for the bees.

Did my podcast last night. A half hour of interesting topics. Bees, included.

Before the show, stopped at Roostica’s for dinner.

Ted Williams spent many years in the Keys. He had a home in Islamorada for twenty plus years. Williams was an avid fisherman.

The story goes that Williams sold his Islamorada home when he had to wait to cross US 1. Too many people.

On this day in 1941, Williams was playing the last day of the season. He was close to batting .400. Had to have a good day to get there. Played a doubleheader. Went 6 for 8. Ended up batting .402 for the season. The last time a player has hit .400.

I am a history buff. Majored in history in college. William the Conqueror part of my education in grammar school, high school, and college. The year 1066. On this date in 1066, William, aka Duke of Normandy, invaded England. Historically noteworthy.

I am looking forward to lunch today. Liz invited me for lunch. She is preparing a special French dish for me.

Enjoy your day!



A Shakespearean delight this is not. Entomological warfare involving bees it is.

Entomological warfare is biological warfare using insects to the attack the enemy. This article is limited to the use of bees.

Bees have been used as weapons of war since man’s earliest beginnings. Right up to today. Research constant and ongoing.

The cave man used bees. When the cave man had an enemy hiding in a cave, he threw a bee’s nest into the cave. His opponent quickly came out.

In 2600 B.C., a Mayan city was under siege. Soldiers within the city made sham soldiers. Mannequins. The mannequins were outfitted with clothes, war bonnets, spears and shields.

Gourds were used as heads. The gourds were filled with bees, wasps and horseflies. When the enemy was close to the embattlement, the gourds were smashed. The enemy was overcome by the bees and other stinging insects.

The Mayans also made hand grenades from beehives.

The Romans used bees as weapons of war constantly. The Romans would catapult bee hives into enemy ranks and fortifications.

Today’s Romania was once known as Dacia. Roman legions were attacking. The Dacians catapulted bee nests into the oncoming Roman legions.

A turn about. Dacia won the battle. However eventually lost the war.

The Third Crusade took place in the 12th century. King Richard utilized hives of bees against the Saracens. Catapulted.

The 13th century found Austria and Hungary at war. Both sides used bees against the other.

In the 14th century, the Moors were close to defeat by Portugal. The Portuguese army was at the walls of the city. The Moors won the battle by throwing down beehives upon the Portuguese.

At the Battle of Alba in the 18th century, the Turks were close to entering the city. Those defending the city erected barriers/walls of beehives to prevent the enemy from entering.

A sea battle was won because of bees. A small pirate vessel of only 50 men was engaged in battle with a large galley of 500 men. The pirates were losing. Some of the pirates climbed the masts and threw bee nests down upon the larger galley.

The pirates won the battle.

Honey comes into play. Honey and water are mixed to make mead. Good booze! Intoxicating. drunkenness guaranteed.

Slavic St. Olga’s son was killed by the enemy in 946 A.D. Olga set up a banquet with much mead. Then she and her guests left. The enemy believing it was victorious came to the party and meaded up. Became drunk. Olga and her supporters returned and slew them.

In 1489 A.D., the Tartars and Russians were at war. The Russians were being beaten. They made mead. Left it all over the city before fleeing. The Tartars came in and got drunk. Vomiting drunk. The Russians returned and slaughtered them.

To modern times.

The American Civil War. In the Battle of Antietam, the Confederates inadvertently laid down a barrage of cannon fire on a nearby bee farm. The 132nd Pennsylvania Infantry were routed. Not by the Confederates. By the bees.

During World War I, both sides utilized bees as weapons of war. Two ways. The first by hand throwing bee hives at enemy positions. The second, connecting bee hives to trip wires.

The Vietnamese used bee hives in substantial numbers against U.N. forces.

It should be noted at this point that Japan utilized bees as weapons in every century, including during the time of World War II.

Which brings us to today. Or, should it be called tomorrow?

Croatia was flooded with land mines during the conflicts of the 1990s. Many of those land mines lie hidden today. A constant danger to Croatians.

The Croatians soon will test whether bees can help identify the location of the land mines. Whether naturally or trained, the theory is bees flying freely will land on a trouble spot.

British scientists disagree with the Croatian approach. Their thought being the bees will forget their mission as soon as they pass the first apple tree.

Bees are a new weapon in the war on terror.

The U.S. is experimenting in training bees to sniff out explosives. A bee’s smell is as good as a dog’s. The hope is bees can then be used to uncover landmines and bomb factories.

Great Britain is far ahead in bee experimentation in the battle against terrorism.

Britain believes, as many do, that bees can be trained to smell explosives. A test is presently underway at Heathrow Airport. Bees trained to smell explosives are placed in a hand detector. Thirty six in each one.

When the detector passes something containing explosives or chemicals, the tongues of the bees shoot out. Bees have sensitive tongues.

The tongues trip an infra-red sensor. The sensor lighting is the alert/warning. Bomb disposal experts would then be called in.

Still in the testing stage in the United States is the utilization of bees to identify explosives in freight cargoes and passenger planes.

The little bee has a long history. It has been and is becoming a big player as an instrument of warfare and in the battle against terror.

In this age of nuclear weapons, planes, all kinds of guns, tanks, etc., the little bee has especially attained increased importance in the war on terror.

The bee…..An instrument of war.


Generally, I many times have no idea of what I am going to do. Today, I know exactly into the evening.

I slept late. It is 10ish and I am just starting the blog. Then research for this week’s KONK Life column. About bees. Bees in warfare. Titled: To Bee or Not To Bee. Love the title!

Bocce. Playoffs today. My team ended up third. All alone. Without playing thursday night. Rained out. Six teams tied for third. One, us. We had beat the other five earlier in the season. Gave us third place alone.

The team plays at 3. I will be there to cheer them on. Spoke with Don yesterday. We are playing monday’s #1 team. Tough!

When the game is over, we will all head to Don’s Place. Win or lose. For the Preakness.

Not done yet.

After Don’s, going to a birthday party. At the Firehouse Museum on Grinnell. One block from Don’s place. The mamey tree 102nd birthday party.

The mamey tree in question lives on the Firehouse Museum property.

What is a mamey tree? I did not know till this morning. A tree common to Central and South America. Some in Florida and rest of U.S. Grows 60-70 feet tall. Bears different colored fruit in the shape of a football.

The father of all mamey trees in the U.S. is the one planted at the Firehouse Museum. DNA substantiated.

The fruit is made into ice cream, milk shakes and smoothies. I will try the ice cream tonight for the first time.

The party is 6-8 pm.

My yesterday began with the anti-gravity treadmill. Jenny encouraged me to move on. I increased the speed. Though not by much.

I am a creature of habit, as mentioned many times. Which means I ended up at the Cuban Coffee Queen again for lunch. Cuban cheese toast and Cuban coffee. Plus, the newspapers. I sat an hour or two reading.

Then home. Early afternoon. Tired. The increased speed on the treadmill? Not sure. Whatever, I took a two hour nap.

Last night, a premier event. Dinner with Jenna at Michael’s. Jenna and I had not seen each other in three months. It was catch up time.

I mentioned in yesterday’s blog that the Oklahoma Senate had this week passed a bill making abortion a felony. A felony for the doctor performing the abortion. It reached the Governor yesterday. The governor vetoed the bill.

Words of wisdom from Aristotle: “There is only one way to avoid criticism: Do nothing, say nothing and be nothing.”

Trump will never avoid criticism.

Enjoy your day!