The Fortnum’s bees still visit us at Piccadilly Market. Sleepy with the lower temperatures but still friendly. Despite sometimes having half a dozen around the stall, not one customer, market trader or, indeed, prelate, verger or church warden from St James’s Church, has been stung (famous last words… touch wood…)
Unlike the unfortunate people of Ankang municipality in China where swarms of highly venomous hornets have killed 41 people in three months. The Asian giant hornet, Vespa mandarinia, is the world’s largest hornet: the size of a human thumb equipped with a 6mm stinger. They carry venom potent enough to dissolve human tissue. Victims may die of kidney failure or anaphylactic shock.
Thank God for Fortnum’s gentle, upper class, bees. Jolly good show!