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By Charlotte Edwards


The last natural bee is on its last legs, but it's fine, coz there's a new range of robo bees.  Real cool little dudes.

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Dystopia, Humour, Sci-Fi

Story Details

  • Title : Buziness
  • Author : Charlotte Edwards
  • Word-Count : 826
  • Genre : Dystopia, Humour, Sci-Fi

About The Author


Charlotte’s short stories take a quirky view of the world - and any other worlds. She has also written a sci-fi action-adventure feature film set in Africa, and a full length play following the fate of a scientist from hero to villain to victim. Charlotte has studied science and history, and puts this to good use in her writing.

The new ones have just come online, a special retro range of insects to be released later today. They’re real cool little dudes.

I can’t say if the old ‘natural’ insects were as impressive as the modern robo ones. Sure, they were natural but they died real quick and robo-sects have a lot longer life span.

When all this started they were just putting detectors on bees, to see if they could understand why they were dying off. Even the ones imported from Australia didn’t last long. They were wanting to monitor their metabolism, to see what made them Goddamn bees die. Then they interfaced to the ‘nerve endings’ of the bees so they could control their flight, make ‘em go to the fruit trees they wanted ‘em to, I guess trying to make things more efficient. You don’t want your orange blossom bees havin’ a pig-out on your neighbour’s almond trees. That’s when things started on the artificial insect project. Started right here on this farm, s’matter of fact. I wouldn’t want to work with bio-bees again. Man, I was stung by one. Went into shock. Damn well near died. So sure, I was up for being the first testing ground of the robo-bees. Catch a bio-bee near me again, Goddammit I’d swat it.

The natural bees in the US were real sick. Overworked. Their bodies just plain stressed out. Not efficient. They couldn’t keep up with the demands of fruit production here in California. But now every year we get an excellent fruit crop with the robo-bees. All the insects buzzing around us here have silicon chips in them of some description. My wife thinks they’re kinda cute. They’ve got nylon coats on so they can still look like your typical old fashioned bio bee if you want them to. A friend of mine’s got his coloured florescent pink. Makes ‘em easier to see at night. These guys can work 24/7/365. Most farmers only rent their bees. They’re way too expensive to buy.

Yeah, the original ‘natural’ bio insects might look a bit more stylish than the modern ones. Well the modern ones have too many with company logos on them. You don’t want to go out to the countryside and be confronted with a hoard of wasps all with flashing Coca-Cola signs on their wings. ‘We like sweetness. If you do too, drink Coca-Cola.’

Everyone likes to advertise on the wings of the robo insects but those LCD wing cells cost a fortune to rent. If you can get a whole host of them it’s pretty impressive – like that stunt McDonald’s pulled the other day. Must’ve been a billion flying in sync in that swarm.


They’re trying to do the same for birds now. Complete the transformation from cyborg-bird to robot. They’d love to advertise on the murmurations of starlings. You know, the wheeling in groups they do in the sky. That’d be one heck of an advertising coup.

Natural bees are all very well but they are just not efficient. Robotic bees, well, they never tire and now tree species have been developed as you know that fruit all year round with these robotic busy bees able to pollinate them the whole year round. Allowing the human race to step out from the cycle that nature has hitherto imposed on us. And constricted us to. And now with their nylon coats and robotic forms, robo-bees can’t be killed by pesticides, so we can spray the crops to blazes without any thought of harming the bees. Hell, nothing can touch them little critters.

Yeah, it’s sad that it was the death of the last natural bee today. But life goes on. Well, robotic life. Lot of scaremongering at the time when robo-bees came online: first insects, whined them eco-types. Next step humans, they said. I mean really. This solution has allowed us to feed the world. So like I said, the last natural bee in the wild died today. Well, they think it’s the last. But if they couldn’t survive… if they couldn’t do the job… well, you do the math.

So yeah, this is officially the last day of the ten year trial. I think we can say it works. The robo-bees have totally replaced natural bees.

I’m not afraid of those crazy environmentalists blaming me for the death of ‘their’ precious natural bees. I’ve heard all the threats from those crazy dudes. Nutjobs.


News Flash: Californian Post. The farmer that pioneered the use of robo-bees has been attacked by his own swarm – the FBI suspect the swarm was hijacked by Greenpeace activists – somehow using them to inject natural bee venom into the farmer – resulting in his death. The FBI has issued assurances that there is no threat to the general public from the robo-bees-

3 reviews for Buziness

  1. 4 out of 5


    Shudder. Hope this doesn’t happen. A chilling tale with a good twist at the end.

  2. 4 out of 5


    A great “talking head” style story with a clever and rather sardonic twist. Well-written and tight!

  3. 5 out of 5


    An imaginative dystopian story with a sting in the tail. A fresh new voice engaging with the issues of the day through well-written and insightful fiction – an excellent example of the writer’s craft serving society as well as bringing pleasure and interest to readers in its own right. Charlotte Edwards illuminates contemporary debate – more from this author please, and on a wider scale!

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