“I knew there was something special about Alex from the day that I saw him first take flight,” stated Mr. Grundell. “I have studied bees for many years and have paid strict attention to their natural flight patterns,” he added. “Alex has always been different in that he is more independent and less eager to hang with the other bees. His erratic flying habits drew my attention almost immediately. Initially, I feared that he suffered from a wing disorder which was causing his quick turns and sporadic darting.”
It was not until Ed observed slow-motion videotape that he realized Alex’s natural ability to spell not only English words, but complete sentences. “I have a habit of videotaping all members of my hive for identification purposes and as a means to discourage bee rustlers. Think in terms of cattle ranchers and their need to brand their cattle. I have tried a similar method with bees, but the miniature branding iron is way to difficult to operate and nine times out of ten, has a detrimental effect on the tiny insect’s behavior and overall well-being,” Ed confessed. “Besides the branding process was causing me to go cross-eyed.”
Alex Grundell (file photo)
Alex’s spelling ability has rapidly increased during the past few days. Simple words such as ‘Dad’ and ‘Pollen’ have now turned into complete phrases such as ‘Do you remember when we met? That's the day I knew you were my pet. I want to tell you how much I love you’ – coincidently a stanza from the Honeydrippers 1984 hit, Sea of Love.With a bee’s lifespan lasting between 28 and 35 days, Ed’s new mission is to expose as many people to Alex and his amazing gift. Please stop by the Wapatusset Middle School on Sunday to see this amazing spelling bee.
reported by Sandy Beaches, former tightrope walker and amateur entomologist