STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - The Nobel Prize Committee announced today that it has awarded the Nobel Prize for Economic Science to Apis mellifera.
Abdon Edelberg, a spokesman for the committee, said, "Usually we award this prize to a great academic researcher with multiple advanced degrees in the field of economics, but this time we are awarding it to a more humble worker in the agricultural field - the honey bee."
Edelberg explained that it is estimated that bees pollinate 1/3 of the world's food supply. The value of pollination by bees is estimated around $16 billion in the US alone and £200m a year in the UK, while the retail value of what bees pollinate there is closer to £1 billion.
"Without bees we would be unable to enjoy most of our favorite fruits, vegetables, or nuts, not to mention honey for our tea, whereas we can live without economic journals!" Edelberg exclaimed as he pounded the podium. "A single hive of fifty thousand honeybees pollinate half a million plants in one day. No human researcher can do that, not even with the most advanced degrees!"
Edelberg became so overcome with emotion during the announcement that he had to sit down in a chair and drink a glass of water. Once he regained his composure, Edelberg continued, "It is high time the honey bees receive recognition for their contribution to the world's economic health, and indeed, human health and well-being in general."
Edelberg was asked how the award would be presented, since each medal is 18 karat green gold plated with 24 karat (pure) gold, with an average weight of around 175 grams. On the other hand, the average honeybee 'worker' weighs 90 to 100 milligrams, or about 1/300 ounce.
"We are designing a tiny micromedal that will be attached to a representative honey bee. The remainder of the gold will be donated to the scientific research that is attempting to save our honey bees," Edelberg continued.
At that point in the presentation, as Edelberg began shouting into the microphone, "In the last fifty years, the honey bee population has decreased by 50%! We must quit taking our wonderful bee friends for granted!" he was gently led off the stage by other committee members.
The award ceremony for the Nobel Peace Prize for Economic Science will be held in Stockholm in December 2014.