Bee Little, Bee Good


Bee Little, Bee Good I was reclined in one of my favorite locations, the chaise lounge on the back patio. Watching the tomatoes turn red, t...

Bee Little, Bee Good

I was reclined in one of my favorite locations, the chaise lounge on the back patio. Watching the tomatoes turn red, the bean vines twist, and the birds hop through the branches. Well actually, maybe Thoreau would have done that at Walden Pond. But I was one wink away from my true devotion, a nap.

Then I heard a buzz. With age comes wisdom, and also the keen sense to differentiate between buzz types. A fly? Then swing away like a horse's tail. You will not hit the fly, but maybe it will look for a softer target. A mosquito? Use your spidey senses, echo locate to the last heard location, and open you eyes just a little to confirm. Then order your hand to kill!

But this buzz was a bee, in which case stillness is the appropriate action. As I was in a prone position, I was going to lay very still, very quiet. 

The bee landed on my chin. By the weight of the landing, I knew it was not a bumble bee. As I said, with age comes wisdom and not only do I have lots of prior bee experience, I also have a great deal of age.

I kept my eyes closed. The bee walked up my chin and paused on my lips. The thought passed through my mind, "What does a bee taste like?" My first job in education was as a camp instructor in the mountains near my school district. We would take six grade students from opposite ends of the district and mix them together for a week in the woods. Each week, at the end of a long "survival" hike, I would stop at a decaying log, open it up, pull out a really fat termite and eat it. The students would always run back to the camp. 

Termites do taste like shrimp. I speculated a honey bee would be sweeter. Its close proximity to honey, and with a covering of pollen, would surely make it a "super" food. Any tasty pleasure that gave would be short lived if the barbed stinger was stuck into my tongue by an angry Ahab, one last act of vengeance by the tiny bee against the giant monster (me!).

I let my epicurean chance slip by as the bee moved further up my face. It paused on my upper lip, as if carefully choosing its next action, "Door number one, or door number two?" I could feel the antennae check each opening. The twin caves of my nose were irresistible. It entered the left nostril.

Now the boyhood entomologist kicked in. I had not seen this bee. Was it a honeybee, looking for pollen. Did I snort up pollen while working in the garden this morning? Or was it a solitary bee, the type that creates a tunnel in the ground to lay it eggs. The eggs feeding on the soft pollen left behind by the adult.

I let you know if I feel anything crawling around in there.



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At Home and Away: Bee Little, Bee Good
Bee Little, Bee Good
At Home and Away
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