Time once again for the January tradition of sifting through the search terms that led querents to our blog in the previous year so that we may present our readers with the more interesting or fun ones. Sadly, there is poor sport this year. Most searches were quite straightforwardly seeking common information about mundane beekeeping with none giving opportunity to explore any of its little known aspects and, worse for this post, few bewildering phrases lending themselves to gentle mockery. We considered omitting the follies post this year but finally decided to do the best we could with the material at hand and hope for better fodder next year. Here we go then starting with the usual top three search terms and general observations.

  • The most exciting news for us is that the tiresome Boardman feeder queries have lost first place to queries involving yellow jackets, which made up 22% of the searches. The wasps appear to have been particularly numerous this year.

  • Boardman feeder searches still ranked high, managing to score second place with 13% of queries. How the mighty have fallen not low enough.

    Why do these things hold a greater fascination than even honey extraction?

  • Third place, with 11% of the searches, were queries about Dr. Meghan Milbrath, who has very deservedly become a much-loved, local, beekeeping celebrity. In addition to her own business providing nucleus hives, queens, and mentoring she presides over the Ann Arbor Backyard Beekeepers, teaches beekeeping classes, seems to attend every beekeeping conference and visit every beekeeping club in the state, and speaks in a variety of other venues to promote beekeeping. Her indefatigability would put a forager to shame.

  • There were no searches this year for construction of Tanzanian hives. Have inquiring beekeepers despaired of our ever posting such a thing?

  • Text searches again vastly outnumber image searches.

  • Our querents again page through many search engine results to touch our blog.

And now the search terms that caught our notice.

a bee balm plant with a freakish 5 tier flower head – 5 views

Large two-headed monardaWe have written a post or two about bee balm sometimes developing a secondary flower head growing out of the primary. But a quinary head? Freakish indeed for monarda fistulosa but not for some other monarda varieties.

another word for honey factory – 2 views

Coordination of Nectar Gathering and ReceivingSurely that would be "hive"?

will bluebirds splash in a birdbath with bees around- 1 view

We picture the bees in the role of swimming pool lifeguards. "Hey,you bluebirds! No splashing! And no running either!"

ezra pound bees – 1 view

The catchphrase of fictional scientist Ezra Banner mutated after being stung by gamma-irradiated bees. Source of a rather popular superhero franchise after some major editing.

who is the poetastry – 1 view

That should be "Who is the poetaster?" And that would be the inferior poet writing the indifferent verse called poetastry, as we self-deprecatingly tag our own offerings in this blog, generally apicultural parodies of better works.

CENSORED – 2 views

After four years of surprise at the irrelevant phrases that can lead search engines to our bee blog we found our first one that is not quite obscene but definitely vulgar. We shall not share the phrase with our readers other than to say that we may have to avoid future use of the Latin preposition for with.

"fixed at the corners" – 1 view

And still broken in the middle? Not very funny but so general a phrase provides no clue as to the nature of the desired answer. The quotation marks suggest that a specific ill-recalled article was being sought but why would that phrase stick in memory?

improvised apparatus stethoscope – 1 view

We’ve got nothing.

And so ends this installment of pathetic japes. May next year provide better entertainment.