I thought I’d do a blog on the problem of the missing bees, but my two typing fingers thought otherwise. Hang on, we’re off to check on the first Chinese Emperor, Chin Shih Huang Ti, (259-210 BC), famous for unifying, by main force, a group of states located mostly south of the Yellow River. In order to maintain stability, as he called it, he burned the people, the books, set his spies throughout the new land and expected that every citizen would tell tales on their neighbour. For fear also that the his rule would be eroded away by traditional practices which had served the people well for previous millennia, he standardised everything, weights, measures, that sort of thing. His was China’s first dynasty, and over the top with a sense of power and self-centredness, he declared that this reign would last for 10,000 years. Chin was here to stay.
Huang Ti was a fearing man, however; not a God-fearing man – that would have implied trust – but one who did not Believe, and the fact that he would have to die, like every other person, really p….d him off.
Can’t have been an easy man to work with; no humility, and although the very word suggests one has not too much going for one, nevertheless it is the tough protective shield against acidic overbearing egotism, which will do all sufferers in, early or late.
The story goes that he started taking mercury to ensure his immortality. Maybe he was given mercury to ensure his early demise; the trail is pretty cold by now. Die he did, and as he was far from home when it happened, they had to take measures to cover the obvious signs of his departure, namely carts full of rotting fish, front and back of his carriage. No one wanted to admit his going, you see, it would have left too large a political hole that would have been hard to fill.
Where, you ask, is all this taking us?
The moral: that first dynasty lasted barely ten years; so much for boasting and laying on the lumber. But the dynasty that followed, the Han, endured for more than 400 years, and the chappie who founded it was an AWOL soldier.
What was his secret for longevity? Folks, do what you’ve always done; just make sure I get the money. Simple economics wins out every time.
To bee or not to bee?


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