To Bee or Not to Bee

In 2007, The Bee Movie was released. It was written by Jerry Seinfeld, who also provided the voice for the movie’s star, Barry B. Benson. The movie’s objective was to show the world just how much our lives depend on honey bees. It’s point was well-expressed, and shook us up, some more than others.

Shortly following the release of that movie, my sister Jen was having lunch with her kids, Maggie and B.J. A bee flew onto their table. Jen expressed fright, since she has an allergy to bees. Maggie, always one to take matters into her own hands, took her shoe and squashed the bee. B.J., who has a soft heart and takes things very seriously, teared up, and a sibling fight ensued. No rolling around on the ground, mind you. Just a disagreement about how the bee should have been handled given its plight per Jerry Seinfeld (and many scientists).

I recalled this particular event because this past week, my husband Bill was out in our back yard putting things away in our shed. All of the sudden, he was attacked by a number of bees, and was stung several times before he got away. I wasn’t home when this happened. By time I arrived home, his wrist was swollen twice its size, and apparently hurt like the dickens.

“I got stung by bees,” he told me.

“No, I don’t think you did,” I answered, having gotten my Ph.D degree last night in melittology (a branch of entomology that deals specifically with the study of bees). Ha. Anyway, I went on to say, “I’m pretty sure they were wasps, because bees aren’t aggressive, and wasps are. Plus, bees can’t sting more than once because they lose their stingers, but wasps can sting over and over again. And wasps are frankly just mean little shits.”

He nevertheless held firmly to his belief that it was bees. At the end of the day, it didn’t really matter, because his wrist looked like Popeye’s bicep. I put his wrist on ice and gave him a Benadyl that had only expired four months ago. (It was the best I could do. The other antihistamine had expired in 2015. What do I look like? A doctor? Well maybe a doctor of melittology.)

Anyhoo, yesterday afternoon, our grandson Alastair was mowing our yard. When he finished, he was putting the mower away in the shed in the back yard. All of the sudden, I heard him holler, “God dammit,” and saw him run past our family room window like he was being chased by a swarm of bees. Which he was.

I ran out to the front yard, where he was standing looking quite disheveled.

“What happened?” I asked.

“I just got attacked by a swarm of bees by the shed,” he answered.

“Are you sure they weren’t wasps?” I asked him. Yep. I really did.

“No, they were definitely bees,” he answered. “I got stung eight or ten places, and they were all bees.”

Today, my first order of business is to contact a bee removal business. Haters, don’t hate, but I don’t even care if they remove it or relocate it. Don’t tell my granddaughter Dagny — who keeps bees — because she, like B.J., would likely tear up and a fight would ensue.

By the way, here are two illustrations of bees. The first is an illustration of most bees. The second is an illustration of our bees…..

If you don’t believe me, ask Bill and Alastair.

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