Sky-high airline rates and the Giant Asian Hornet

Barry Evans
Barry Evans

We certainly do live in a different world today.  For example, yesterday I brought up an airline page to look for some tickets to St. Paul, Minn. in July.  We would be going up for our daughter’s birthday, and I hoped to get a good price based on what I have been hearing about the plight of airlines these days.   However, after viewing their rate schedule, I felt that perhaps it would be the rest of us who might be in a plight mode.  The rate for the economy section where they would select your seats was just under $2,000 one way. Obviously, we needed to be able to come back, so for both of us the cost would be around $8,000 for two round trip tickets.  That did not include baggage fees either.

Apparently at this moment in time the airline is trying to discourage flights two months in advance.  I would not think that they would get too many passengers at that rate.  Perhaps, if I had waited another month, they might lower their rates.  On the other hand, they might not.  It could be that it was an April Fool joke that had not been taken down. I suppose that some day all will be revealed.  However, in the meantime I went to one of the ticket finder vendors on the Internet.  There I found some tickets for much, much less than the above.  It is a good thing as our daughter would not have been happy if we couldn’t make the trip.

In addition, to all the other crises we have now, I assume that you have all read about the invasion of the Giant Asian Hornet. It is apparently one mean insect.  They can kill an entire bees’ best in a few hours and kill about 50 people a year in India. The bees here have no defense. Japanese bees do as they surround the hornet with a cloud of worker bees who create an atmosphere that creates heat and cooks the hornet.  It is definitely a tough world.  It so happens that about four weeks ago, we were at a blueberry farm outside of Coleman. Just as I was shutting the car door, the biggest hornet I have ever seen landed on our side view mirror.  He was one ugly orange and black hornet.

He certainly looked like the photos that we saw a couple of weeks later when the stories broke about the Giant Asian Hornet being found in Washington state and Canada.  We thought we should be concerned citizens and advise the state Agricultural Department of what we saw.  We did, but never received a response, and from what I have subsequently read, anybody east of the Mississippi who thinks that they have seen one needs to have their eyes examined.  OK, they were more polite than that.  They simply said that anyone who thought that they did was mistaken and that they really saw a European wasp which is also big (but not as big as the Asian hornet) with orange on it its body and head.

I guess that is good to know, but I have seen photos of the European wasp and they don’t look quite the same as the one we saw. It is quite true that I am no insect expert, so I will keep my peace.  However, next year I think that we will go to another blueberry farm!

Barry Evans writes about “Life in The Villages” for Villages-News.com

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