I don’t really have a good reason for it. I have only been stung one time and I can barely recall the clearly traumatic experience. I was young, say four or five. I had just finished eating a sloppy PB&J sandwich and headed outside to play on a warm Washington summer day. I quickly learned the importance of at least washing my face after eating! The details are very sketchy but in my mind’s eye, I recall a big, fat, furry bumblebee buzzing around me. You know the kind you mistake for a twin-rotor military style helicopter? He smelled the delicious remnants of a good lunch on my tender face and proceeded to touch down and begin eating. I’m picturing this now and keep shuddering because I see this softball sized bee impaling my little five year old lip with his four foot long stinger that I swear had a Louisville Slugger logo on it!
Truth be told, I really don’t remember the event well at all. This is just one aspect of where I figure my fear originated. I think the remaining contributing factors come from watching a number of killer bee movies that I saw in the 80’s when my delicate mind was easily influenced and molded by such powerful imagery. Movies like The Swarm and Killer Bees were fascinating to watch and have scarred me for life. I equate this to Poltergeist scarring me as well, but that’s another blog post (another shudder).
As it stands this fear prevents me from wanting to mow the lawn each week. It also tarnishes my otherwise macho facade. I’ve posted on my Facebook and Twitter accounts looking for assistance and methods to overcome this. A few answers were really goofy: “Bee one with the Bees!,” “get rid of the flowers,” and “Try to pretend they’re not there.” Thanks, guys! Someone also suggested donning a bee suit. I did hear some good advice that I hadn’t ever heard of, “try a fabric softener sheet in your pocket – or two (bees hate em).” Some solid advice I got makes sense but is easier said than done, like ignoring them, and the typical, “if you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you.” I can see trying the dryer sheet trick. The ones we use are unscented so I’m not sure it will have the same effect.
Last year we discovered that we had an in-ground hive or nest conveniently placed near our peach tree. In an effort to rid the ground of these despicable creatures, I stuck the hose down and attempted to flood them out. I’m not certain how deep the hole went, but it never filled up. We had some moles or gophers as well so they could have been shackin’ up together. In this attempt the bees were, let’s say agitated. After a few minutes of this, I gave up and we let them calm back down. We went out to pick the delicious peaches and while doing so, one of the spawn-of-Satan bees stung Wyatt just under his eye. Great! Now my son is going to be “blessed” with the same fear that I was. The main difference will be the absence of such ridiculous bee movies. (Bee Movie, with Seinfeld was actually great!) I’m really waiting on his next big growth spurt so I can delegate the responsibility to him!
What should I do? I can’t afford to pay someone to mow the lawn. Although, to me it would be worth it! Wyatt can’t do it yet. I can’t see making Rachel do it. I can’t not mow it. I can’t not water it. Do we pay to have someone come spray/treat for bees? I’m too chicken to go knock down nests I see up on the house. I don’t have a power washer to help. Do I go get counseling or hypnotized? I am asking for your advice and help. I mean heaven forbid one of those nasties get in my car when I’m driving.
(I was gonna get a picture of a bee and add it to this post but then I couldn’t stand to look at it!)