When I was growing up, one of the news items that appeared was the invasion by killer bees. “Killer bees from Africa” had escaped from a lab in South America and were making their way up towards the American border. Apparently these bees were really aggressive and would attack at the slightest provocation. For a while, the headlines followed the progress of the migrating bees. The threat grabbed a hold of the popular culture and showed up in Saturday Night Live skits and as movies like The Swarm.

I remember being a little scared by the thought of murderous, deadly bees crossing the border and invading to spread havoc. When I think about it now, I laugh a little. What about all those countries in South America they were passing through in the meantime? Clouds of evil bees weren’t exactly clouding the sky from view and massacring entire towns in a riot of explosion and flame. Perhaps what struck me was that imaginative possibility of the unknown, that out of nowhere a fantastic threat could emerge and attack.

What would you do when the killer bees got here? Hopefully a way would be found to contain the threat and save us from machine-gun stings and nasty bees biting pieces of our flesh out to make poison honey. Why, the entire flower population of the country was at stake, because everyone knows killer bees destroy flowers after they’re done, doing whatever evil bees do.

Hey, this is sounding a little like anti-immigrant propaganda, isn’t it? Watch out for those “invaders” from another country. Foreigners are coming here to cause trouble, and because they are “killer”, you can’t reason with them. Since they swarm in large numbers, our army is helpless against them. The only solution is to nuke them (in The Swarm, the bees are wiped out when they attack a nuclear power plant and cause it to blow up). That’s right, preemptive nuclear strike against the killer bee foreigners before they cross the border and get you.

I’m not buying it. The killer bees escaped the lab because they wanted to rock and roll. And they’re coming to get you because they heard you know how to party. And they know how to make the killer honey that will knock your socks off. I was worried before, but now that I got past all the hype and rumor, I’m ready to receive those bees. When they show up, it’s going to be all buzz.