I think I’ve found out where all the bees are going. They’re hiding inside the light fitting in my cellar. I can hear them buzzing away in there, but they know I suspect something and have lookout bees warning the light fitting hive if I start to look in their direction. Somewhere just beyond my peripheral vision a spotter bee performs one of those intricate little dances, which communicate so much to those of an apian persuasion. The dance of the spotter bee says “Watch out, he’s turning his head towards us.” My gaze fixes on the light fitting, but the bees, having been pre-warned, have already fallen silent.
I discussed this phenomenon with a couple of friends, both of whom tried to fob me off with the same implausible explanation. They suggested that the electrical wiring of the light fitting is generating the noise itself. They allege that the fluctuating electro-magnetic field, generated by the alternating current of the mains electricity, causes tiny mechanical effects in the wiring, hence the noise.
“Aha!” said I “If that’s the case, why does it stop when I look at the light fitting?”
They suggested this is because my ears are on the sides of my head.
“For goodness’ sake” I said, “I suppose you’re suggesting that I’d still hear the noise whilst looking at the light fitting if I had an ear on my forehead?”
“Well, yes.” they replied.
But they’re wrong. It’s the bees.