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Bees, and Halo, and Stuff

Last Updated 25 August 2004, 8:30 am EDT

Update, 13 September:

A new Read-only wiki has come online to attempt to ease the burden on the public (and much-overworked) NetNinja BeeWiki mentioned below. Use it as your first source of information, if you're just interested in getting up to speed.

Update, 25 August:

As of now, discussion of the entire ilovebees phenomenon is banned from this forum. Threads concerning the phenomenon will be deleted, and folks who cannot seem to get the message will be banned. We simply cannot handle the game here. If you really want to play along, Try these four locations:

Thank you for your understanding.

Read this

This thread on the Unfiction forums was brought to my attention by Miguel Chavez on Sunday, August 1, and is an astoundingly good summary of where things stand.

On Friday, July 23rd, all hell broke loose in the Halo online community - a link to was finally noticed in the Halo2 movie ad, and the speculation went wild.

The flood of posts (gotta love those puns) has been too great for the forum to handle, however - and not just our forum, but other Halo forums around the net. (At, where the flat-style forum encourages single-word or single-phrase answers, the original ilovebees thread has exploded to over 7700 posts, and has spawned hundreds of other threads.) Nobody's bothering to READ the enormous body of existing speculation, or organize it - they're just throwing in their OWN ideas. Which, almost always, have already been thrown in. (One of the very first things to be looked into, when this website surfaced, was WHOIS information. An address for the shop was found, was investigated, and turned out to be a post office box. That was EARLY FRIDAY MORNING. And yet, since then, there have been dozens of posts breathlessly pointing out that this address IS IN THE MIDDLE OF A BUSY CITY BLOCK IN SAN FRANCISCO, SO IT MUST BE FAKE.)

I have serious doubts that this puzzle has anything to do with Bungie Studios at all. That it's linked to Halo 2 in some way is clear - after all, the URL showed up in the Halo 2 ad. That Microsoft is behind it, at least financially? Absolutely. (It's a pretty elaborate website, and it stayed up through a veritable hurricane of interest. That takes cash.) That it has, at its heart, a team involving Bungie behind it? There is no evidence for this. (There is no direct evidence AGAINST it, either - but I've got almost 10 years of Bungie-sense telling me that it doesn't feel right.) Folks point to the cafepress store selling shirts with bees on the front and a Halo 2 logo on the back, or posts by 'Cortana' in various forums, as 'PROOF POSITIVE' that Bungie is involved - I disagree; if anything, these things are proof that Bungie has nothing to do with this. (Cortana will NEVER again be used in the cryptic way she was introduced in the Cortana letters - Bungie has 'retired' that character. And anyone can set up a cafepress shop - its existence proves nothing.)

We here at have nothing against puzzles - hell, we've put on a few of our own, at least one of which was one of the most inspiring examples of internet-based teamwork I've ever seen in my life. It's just that this one feels rushed, and maybe incomplete, and it's our belief that folks hoping to get a glimpse of the Halo 2 storyline (or whatever) are going to be sorely disappointed at the end of all this - and we want it clear that if you choose to work on this puzzle, you should do it with the understanding that it's just that - a puzzle. Have fun with it, but don't expect a whole lot at the end of the rainbow.

It may very well turn out to be Bungie-driven - and if the evidence for that comes forward, I'll be happy to admit I was wrong. For now, though, I'd like to ask that speculation about the subject be kept to a minimum, or moved entirely to other forums. I'm not going to go so far as to ban bee discussion here - but I will ask that you keep it Halo-related, and that you keep your mind open to the possibility that some ad agency somewhere thought it might be cool to pump up the Halo fans with an AI-type puzzle, without considering that Bungie fans might expect more than they're willing (or able) to give.