Money Grewal and the bees

  • Harwant Singh, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Oct 28, 2014 11:39 IST

Bees generally ignore humans and focus their attention and energies to collecting honey, working themselves into a frenzy. However, when their hives are disturbed and during certain seasons, they can get aggressive and sting with vengeful ferocity. Professional honey collectors know all the tricks to neutralise their aggressiveness and often use smoke to drive them away.

Beehives abound in forests, old monuments and of course on golf courses. Though managements at golf courses do take steps to remove such hives, sometimes the job is not done with diligence and an odd one is left out. A poorly played shot can land the golf ball on the hive or near about and that can lead to bees attacking all those in the vicinity. Consequent to such an incident, the 'four ball' concerned is the first to come under attack. There is no escape and invariably all four receive stings. In some cases, the situation demands immediate evacuation to the nearest hospital. Such an attack raises an alarm and the 'foursomes' that follows the one attacked either skips that hole or simply bypasses the next two or three holes.

Now the management of this particular golf course had made sure that there was no beehive on any of the trees. However, one 'foursome' still came under a bee attack. This caused considerable consternation among the players and the management was asked to explain.

The management seemed to have no reasonable explanation, so in sheer desperation it ordered an inquiry.

There was no way the committee could interrogate the bees and in any case they had flown away, so it had to essentially rely on circumstantial evidence and draw its own logical conclusions.

The intriguing point about this incident was that the bees had attacked only one member of that 'foursome'. From the evidence available, it was concluded that bees had trespassed into the golf course, because, as confirmed by the maintenance staff there was no hive on any of the trees.

After a thorough investigation and taking into account the circumstantial evidence, the inquiry committee made the following observation. "In all probability the queen bee with her reconnaissance party flew over the golf course looking for suitable flowerbeds. They could be first investigated by the reconnaissance party and if found satisfactory, the main body of bees could be directed to these. Now the queen bee surveyed this 'foursome' very carefully and stretching out her leg she pointed towards one of the players and said, 'money'. But the girls in her reconnaissance party heard it as 'honey' and went for this one player. On landing, they found nothing sweet or even agreeable and in sheer frustration delivered a few stings."

The golf course abounds with Gills and Grewals. They are congenial, colourful and very rich. It was a Grewal that the queen bee had pointed to and her reconnaissance party attacked him. Hereafter, he is known as Money Grewal.

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