I thought someone stole my beehive. Driving by on my way to town, I noticed it just wasn’t there. As I put my car into reverse to double check, I imagined someone cruising down the highway as my bees attacked.
It didn’t help.
I’ve put too much time and effort into these bees. I’ve been trying to start a colony for three years, but I just can’t seem to carry a hive through winter. And here after failure after failure after failure, April and the dandelion bloom are in sight. One of my students in my nature study class found a dandelion bud and I beamed as I told them the importance of early spring flowers.
And now someone is going to up and steal my beehive?
I wanted to cry.
And then I spotted the beehive upside down in the windbreak.
It’s maybe been a touch on the windy side these last few days. I didn’t even have that happen when the tornado went through that pushed our neighbor’s outbuildings off the foundation.
So anyway, I was a little too relieved to really think through what I should do. I just put the car in park right there in the road, grabbed my daughter and ran over. I was happy to see a few bees buzzing about and hear the whole hive buzzing.
The angry “you better not mess with us” buzz. After all, what colony of anything likes lying on its back, exposed like that? It didn’t really occur to me that they might blame me for their misfortune. I had nothing to do with it. I was rescuing them. And it was cold out. Bees really don’t fly around much when it is below forty.
So my daughter grabbed one side, I grabbed the other and we gently rolled the hive over and backed away quickly.
Or so I thought. I figured it best to leave the hive alone for awhile. Let the bees calm down, I thought. Besides, I wasn’t sure my daughter and I actually would be able to lift it anyway. So we went back to the car and continued on our way.
I made it all the way to the stop sign at the bottom of our road before I felt a buzzing down my back.
And this is the weird thing. I’ve been stung before. It’s not that bad. It isn’t fun. I’d rather it not happen again. But you get over it. Especially if you have bindweed because if you chew the flower and smack that glob of goo on the sting, the pain goes away almost immediately.
Getting stung isn’t so bad. But knowing you’re about to get stung is enough to send you into a panic. Or at least it is enough to send me into a panic.
And this after I oh so calmly explained to someone on facebook how easy it is to lose your fear of working the bees. How calming it is, in fact. I failed to mention that it’s still scary as anything to have a bee fly into your clothing and start that angry buzz.
So, yeah. I slammed on the brakes and tried to get out of the car. The door was locked. Put the car in park. Swung open the door and jumped out while trying to extricate myself from my jacket while trying not to let my shirt tighten across my back.
“Mouse! Help me!” I cried out as I ran around the front of car. (Good thing it was in park. Oh how fun it would have been to try to explain how I ran over myself while running from a bee that was stuck in my shirt!)
I’m not sure she entirely knew what was going on, but she dutifully grabbed my sleeve and pulled my arm out as I spun. I had my shirt half off . . . right there in the middle of the road on a 35 degree day . . . when I felt the bee crawl up my back and into my hair.
I screamed. I screamed and ran, flipping my hair over my head and spinning for no real reason while my daughter yelled, “I see it! I see it!”
That’s when I ran right into the open car door. The one I had left open as I made my dramatic exit from the car.
And that’s when the bee flew off.
And when my daughter and I started laughing so hard, I couldn’t drive.
And once again, I found myself incredibly thankful we don’t have neighbors.
Because what would you do if you pulled up on someone half dressed and frantically screaming as they spun in circles around their car?