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Posts Tagged ‘bumble bees’

bee on flowerWe’ve all seen the summer photos of bees in flight, buzzing around the perfect flower, or sizing up blackberry blossoms.  I know I’ve taken great delight in watching bumble bees so laden with pollen they had trouble taking flight; high on the yellow dust, drunk on the nectar.  And just recently friends from America (the other side of the Sound) were quite impressed when a meat bee invaded our al fresco dining and made off with a helping of smoked salmon nearly the size of his body.  I’m sure his friends back at the nest were equally impressed.

I’ve spent most of this outrageously beautiful summer on the property landscaping it to make my life easier in the coming years.  My buddy, Lew, keeps telling me I won’t be able to keep up with the four acres much longer.  You gotta love that kind of optimism.  But just in case Lew is right, I’ve been busy laying down tarp (biodegradable) and covering it with mulch and stone.  In the last few months, I’ve covered a number of the tiers, the side of the house, the area below the deck and down the slopes with mulch and stone in spiffy patterns that spell OCD.  I have slid down said slopes, berry thorns pushing through my jeans, and I was regularly dive bombed by an angry varied thrush when I cut down two small trees close to her nest, but nothing could stop me from what needed to be done before (according to Lew) my bones turn to dust…until today.

In the Secret Life of Bees August (who is a beekeeper) tells Lily that you have to send love to the bees to keep them from stinging you.  Now, if you’ve been reading along for the last four years, you know that I go out of my way for the deer, bunnies, and birds (that crazy varied thrush seems to forget that I’m the one laying out the birdseed every morning, the one who makes sure they, along with the deer and bunnies have fresh water everyday).  I even mow and weed whack around slugs, little tufts of grass marking their spots, safe zones for slimers.  In other words, I send love to creatures great and small on the property all the time.  But today it wasn’t enough.  Today, after four years of working side by side, one of my pollinating pals turned on me and when I wasn’t looking, landed on the mesh portion of my glove and stung me…repeatedly.  I like to think of myself as someone who remains level-headed in a time of crisis…and for the most part, I am, especially when I’m not the one experiencing the crisis.  And though I  may forget many  important facts during a crisis, the facts I never forget are those at the extreme end of warning signs for impending doom.  New prescription?  I never read the first paragraph, but flip to the back to the “may cause swelling of the tongue, blocking breathing passageway, may cause blindness…” you get the picture.  So, as I’m pulling my glove off (bee still attached) and jumping up and down, this is what’s running through my head: Didn’t Ralph tell me that Peggy went into anaphylactic shock when she was stung?  Granted, it was in the neck, but I remember the words – paralysis, ambulance…  Now, those are important facts.  Fortunately, I had driven my SUV down on the property because it had all my tools in it, so hand throbbing, heart pounding…could this be the first signs of anaphylaxis?  I drive myself up to the house and rush in. Remedies…I need remedies.  First one that comes of mind is baking soda paste.  While that’s dripping all over the floor, I search the internet for remedies and come upon several.  Wait, I need to document the damage.   This is how my hand looked by the time I got to the house. beesIt kind of looks like a Thanksgiving turkey where my knuckles used to be, no?  Okay, back to the internet and remedies to stop the PAIN…smash fresh garlic and rub the juice on the area, crush basil and rub on the area, coat with honey (how ironic).  Fortunately, I had all three remedies in stock and used them all.  The whole time I’m rubbing the garlic and the crushed basil on my hand, I’m thinking about the fresh mozzarella and roasted tomatoes I have in the fridge.  I top off the garlic and basil with a smear of wildflower honey and then I read that I should wash the area with soap and water before applying any remedies.  But of course.  And so I do, and then I start all over again.

After a few hours the pain subsided, only a few twinges here and there.  I stood out on the deck overlooking the area where the “incident” occurred and heard the familiar buzz of my attacker as I watched my glove moving slowly across the property.

Photo of Bee found at http://tx.english-ch.com/teacher/julia/home/bees/

Photo of hand found at the end of my arm

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