Two nights ago DH and I were eating supper. Actually, I couldn’t really eat much due to my surgery, but I kept him company.
He had turned on PBS to watch the Lehrer News Hour, and together we watched a short segment on CCD, Colony Collapse Disorder, in honey bees. This is a mysterious virus or cluster of viruses that is endangering bee populations all over the world. I have read quite a bit about CCD so was very interested.
“I have always wanted to keep bees,” I said, watching the beekeeper on screen, who had honey bees crawling all over him as he spoke calmly into the camera.
“Yes. But I’m afraid of bees. I think the problem is that I’ve only been stung once in my life, and that scared me too much.”
We watched until the end of the segment and then I forgot all about it.
Yesterday I was getting the cabin ready for DH’s friends to come to stay. It had started to rain but I kept on doggedly mowing, weedwhacking, and stacking wood. After a certain point you can’t get any wetter.
I opened the outhouse to sweep it out, and there under the eave I discovered a hornet’s nest. Actually, I thought it was the nest of paper wasps, but reading later I discovered that the teardrop-shaped paper nests are actually built by bald-faced hornets. Paper wasps build umbrella-shaped nests.
Though I’ll all for nature, I didn’t think a battalion of wasps or hornets would be a happy surprise for guests visiting the facilities. I drove home and got some Black Flag spray.
It was pouring rain. I stuck my head in the outhouse, aimed the Black Flag, and let fire with a stream of spray. Uh-oh. Immediately the hornets poured out of the nest, flying straight for me. I staggered back. The hornets were furious and determined. Only the heavy rain slowed them down. Two stung me in the face before I could get away.
I was too tired, muddy, and wet to have much emotional reaction. Luckily it was the same side of my face that is already distorted with swelling. I merely look a bit lumpier.
I’ve now officially been stung more than once.
Is this a Sign from God that honey bees should now be in my future?