I’ve always been fascinated by bees-even though I’ve been stung enough during my life to know their stings hurt like the dickens.
The most I’ve ever been stung at once-was 6 times. I stuck my hand in a yellow jackets nest on a state bridge up the Little East Fork of the Pigeon River. Seems like it was just yesterday, though it’s been well over 20 years. I can still taste the dust of the gravel road on my tongue; see the exhausted look on my past due pregnant cousin’s lovely face; and see the sprite of a girl I’ll never forget dance along in front of us as we walked in the late evening trying to find the coolness that often comes off a rushing creek.
In my opinion-waspers hurt the worst. I think of them as being the most hateful of bees-well maybe I should save that moniker for the black hornets that swelled my lips and nose together summer before last when I accidentally torpedoed their nest with a watermelon rind.
Somehow I think of honey bees and bumble bees as being nice, even though I was stung by honey bees often as a barefoot kid. Can you see the bits of yellow pollen stuck to the bee’s legs in the photo above?
I suppose the pollination factor is why I’m fascinated by bees. An army of busy bees marching through the world with wings to make sure our vegetables, fruits, trees, flowers, weeds, and bushes are able to do their thing. An amazing glorious feat when you think about it.
p.s. Last summer one of my wild mountain girls, Chitter, found herself a pet baby bumble bee. She named it Pedro. She only kept him a day or so before letting him go. She swears she’s seen him flying in the yard this summer.