Have you heard the bees?
Bees drone – everyone knows that. And they drone at a pretty similar frequency level to that dull background hum of traffic noise and industry in our cities, which means outside the buzzing in your garden or a park, you rarely hear them in action.
During the lockdown, with traffic at its lowest point since, well, the invention of the car, the sound of the bees has re-emerged gloriously, like in this recording by Andy Popperwell:
“I’m a volunteer at Copped Hall, a Georgian mansion on the edge of Epping Forest, which was destroyed in a huge fire in 1917. We’re restoring this wonderful building.
“The four-acre walled garden has beehives, and usually the sound of the insects is drowned by the nearby M25 motorway. Not at the moment!”
And you can even hear them in the centre of enormous cities like London, as David Sillito told us:
“Huntingdon Road, East Finchley. I’ve walked along this road for 18 years.
“Last week I heard what sounded like some industrial machinery outside number 49, Huntingdon Road. After a minute or so I realised the sound was coming from above me.
“The tree was in full blossom and alive with bees. There was no traffic – and no people, suddenly we could hear the ambient sound of spring in East Finchley. Magical.”