You may be au fait with the tragic circumstances of Karen Silkwood and her thwarted efforts to disclose nuclear radiation mismanagement. The Silkwood contamination case as publicised as it was, was never fully exposed to the eerie green light of day. You may well ask how many other undisclosed leaks are there out there, lethal and lied about? Well this is the rumour of a case in Kent, allegedly affiliated to the Dungeness Nuclear Power Plant. Apparently one day a worker from the plant met for a midday picnic with a possible lady love to be. It was summer and warm so the park was brimming with sun bathers and fair weather frolickers galore. Naturally a boy’s silkworm escaped its shoebox and crawled into the lab coat pocket of the power plant worker as did a bumblebee inebriated with the overindulgence of a stiletto trod-on and burst royal jelly capsule fallen from a lady’s purse. The two sat in subterfuge with an ant pupa which had stuck to the fat silkworm’s head like a baby beret hat, during his daring escape. The silkworm babbled away to the bee relating the indignation of a mandarin such as himself being held captive in a common shoebox. The bumble bee hardly heard a word but soon interjected with her far worse quandary. It was about her being a female bumblebee worker and being reproductively stunted on account of her subservience to her queen. It is a fact that a certain hormone surreptitiously suppresses the ovaries in female bumblebee workers enforcing their lot in life. “But guess what I’ve just gone and done hmm? (burp) Pardonnez-moi!” She nudged the silkworm manically. "I just ate a whole royal jelly capsule and do you know what that does hmm? It turns an ordinary civilian bee like me into a queen! How do you like that!? Ingenious or what?!" The conversing insects then found themselves ferried back to the power plant within the lab coat pocket and somewhere, somehow something went awry and they were exposed to a near entomological lethal dose of radiation. It had something to do with that little gadgety radioactive thing the worker absent mindedly placed in his pocket for a hair-raising five minutes, (which was probably 5 hours insect time), when he was way too preoccupied with lingering memories of his lunch date.
Fortunately for the insects, they happened to have the greatest resistance to radiation exposure on the planet so they were hardly fazed. The love struck Romeo worker happened to place a couple of beta carotene capsules in his pocket before clocking out for the night. The pocket residents were ravenous. The after effect of nuclear over-dose gave them the munchies. They eagerly tucked into the beta carotene capsules. In case you don’t know, beta carotene is the nutritious chemical which gives carrots and flamingos their glorious coral and orangey hues. The following day, the worker was back in the park for yet another sunny summer lunch-break loafing against the beefy trunk of a tree schmoozing said love interest. Conversation turned to rather athletic romping and writhing and serpentine entanglements causing the nuclear disaster fallout victims to fall from the dark depths of the coat pocket. Like the last lone straggling survivors in a bad B-rate anaconda movie, they pulled together and pulled each other to a safe nook in the tree’s base. At base camp they regrouped. In the harsh light of day they noted something really weird. The bumblebee’s stomach was blown up like bagpipes and the ant pupa was enormous. The silkworm, so spooked by the Silkwoodian escapade, took to spinning a commodious cocoon and retreating into oblivion. When the bumblebee unexpectedly laid two enormous fluorescent pink eggs she decided to officially go AWOL and never return to her old queen, but rather set up camp with her eggs, the ant pupa and the cocoon. She sat there day in and day out waiting for who knew what, until the ant pupa hatched and out galumphed a pinkish two inch tall ant enormous and supreme. The bumblebee surveyed her with stunned silence. Later that day, a mammoth by moth standards, pink candy cotton coloured moth squeezed out from the cocoon. What’s more, the moth that would normally need a partner to multiply simply began laying a batch of super-sized pinkish glow eggs. The radiation exposure along with beta-carotene infusion had completely messed with them but the outcome was epic. The bumlebee’s eggs hatched and her progeny were most unusual also being some two inches long, bigger, plumper, fluffier, coral pinkish and more bulbous than normal bumblebees – very regal indeed, she noted. The bumble mum ecstatically declared her twin daughters to be natural born queens and promptly named them Queen Bulbinella and Queen Bulbarella, which she hastily pointed out, made her Queen Mum. And with inspired afterthought she declared the royally radiant ant Queen Antwoinine. The ant was well pleased. The silkworm moth’s eggs produced equally oversized gargantuan and plump pinkish silkworms. “Very imperial indeed!” The bumble Queen Mum admired as the moth expired. “Although perhaps a bit Sumo Wrestlerish?” The moth never heard the last remark thankfully. Unto its still warm corpse she continued: “I promise you Mandarin I will find the place for our offspring to reign free and count for something.” True to her promise the bumble Queen Mum caught wind of Royal Doll Town and navigated her royally destined company to the heart of Queen Marcheline. Queen Marcheline castigated the bumble Queen Mum for having gone AWOL issuing a long winded diatribe on the importance of honouring one’s place and duty at court yet likewise understood perfectly well that the macabre turn of events had changed her destiny and it could not really be helped and indeed this twist of fate had steered her and her prodigious company into peerage never before experienced. Half the convened meeting were nodding off because of her meandering prattling, but they came to when she mentioned the provision of a stately hive house for each of the bumble Queen Mum’s daughters, affiliated to the Dovecotes, one north one south and for Queen Antwoinine a palace within the elaborate eastern portico roof. As for the clan of Sumo Mandarin Silkworms, they were awarded imperial pruning and trimming status and became the official pruners of The Royal Gardens, Topiaries and Bonsai. All in all, a most successful and fortunate ending for one incongruous troupe of insects.