Hay’s Daze: To bee or not to bee

Did you see in the paper that the rusty patched bumblebee is now an endangered bee? This got me thinking: have you ever been traumatized by a sudden unwanted guest in the car? The buzzing kind? I know I have.

One scary time a bee the size of an angry seagull zapped into my open passenger vent window. (For car newbies, vent windows are on many historical cars. They are triangular shaped and are located on the front doors and you can swing them open all the way in lieu of new-fangled features such as air conditioning.) So it’s really hot out and this humongous dumb bee knocks himself silly ricocheting off the vent window and he’s really peeved now and he dive bombs into the front windshield and proceeds to threaten me by buzzing angrily and giving me dangerous looks with his five eyes (look it up kids!).

I’m a little frazzled by this point on account of I’d been stung before by an angry bee, right inside my ear of all places and I had very little interest in being stung again. Anywhere, anytime. So I was yelling at the bee and zig-zagging onto the side walk and/or into the oncoming traffic lane and I finally get to the top of the hill and screech to a halt down a side street and pile out of the car like it was on fire.

It took a good ten minutes to shoo that big bloody buzzer out of my car because I tried not to get any closer to the car than about fifteen feet….

It’s not the first time a bee has invaded my vehicle and attempted to assassinate me at the wheel. And they also tend to enter our house and other locations and invade my personal space which is growing smaller every year.

But if you don’t like bees don’t go on holidays. At least, not to beautiful B.C. Unsavory bee gangs like to congregate there for conventions and bee parties which is lucky for them because there happens to be an inordinate amount of flowers and fruit there most of the time, and I looked it up and it seems that bees, like many humans, often hang around flowers and fruit.

So if you’re out in the beautiful Okanagan sometime my advice would be to stay away from flowers and fruit. Also, avoid lakes and the parks where the bee gangs party. And stay away from restaurants and food in general. Rogue bees like to attack your food. Otherwise it’s a lovely holiday vacation destination.

I certainly understand that some people are medically incompatible with the little pricks, um, that bees can give and that’s not at all funny so I would further recommend people with beephobia and who are bee-lergic carry with them a bee sucker. You know, one of those little battery operated hand held vacuum cleaners. Flick the switch and siphon those little suckers right out of the air. Stuff a Kleenex, baseball cap or reasonable facsimile into the open end of your bee sucker until the next buzzer comes along. When the sucker is full, stand back ten feet and throw the whole darn thing into the nearest dumpster. Or, if you want to save money by not having to purchase several new bee suckers every day have a family member (preferably a distant cousin you don’t see very often) empty it for you somewhere safe, like, say, South America.

But here in Alberta we are lucky. Bees aren’t endangered and they aren’t usually a problem. A million mosquitoes won’t let them get near you.

Harley Hay is a Red Deer author.

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