Monday, September 22, 2008

Learning About Bees

Colony collapse disorder has been in the news a lot lately. It’s scary stuff, especially since no one knows for sure what the cause is. I’ve heard of everything from a virus to cell phone radiation as being possible culprits.

Evidently, wasps are not struggling with the same problem. This seems to be a record year for wasps in our area. We took the kids to the zoo on Saturday, and were swarmed by wasps looking for a free meal while we were trying to eat our lunch. Amazingly, no one got stung. That day, anyway.

Thursday night was a different story. Ron drank some soda and left the empty can on the picnic table. An empty soda can is equally attractive to both wasps and young children, but I didn’t notice the can until the inevitable had already taken place. I heard Sammy’s screeches of pain and turned around to see him still clutching the can, so I guessed what had happened even before Sammy blubbered, “I got a bee stung”.

He wouldn’t let me touch it to try to scrape the stinger out, so all I could do was wash the area and apply an ice pack. His cheek turned bright red and swelled up, but after an hour he didn’t complain about it anymore. Friday morning, he crawled into our bed at 5:00 a.m., like he does every morning, and after a few seconds he obviously remembered what had happened. He sat upright in bed and said, surprised, “My bee stung not hurt anymore!”

Yesterday, he went into the garage to throw something in the garbage can. After about a minute, when he didn’t return, I yelled around the corner to ask what he was doing. “I throw something away,” he said. I waited another minute. Pretty soon, he came around the corner, still clutching the garbage. “There a bee on the garbage can,” he said. I went to help him and shooed away the “bee” – a housefly. It’s good that Sammy has a healthy respect for bees/wasps now, but I guess we should work on insect identification.

1 comment:

Carol Beth said...

Oh, poor kiddo! I got my very first sting when we went to our family reunion in July. It was a wasp. Not as bad as I expected--but I still have a healthy respect for bees, wasps, and even houseflies (ew).