They’re ba-a-a-a-a-a-ck

By Jam Jamison

The weather was perfect Easter Sunday afternoon — not too cold, not too hot. A perfect afternoon for some porch-sitting, reading and basking in the brilliant sunshine. I was blissfully reading, basking and enjoying God’s beautiful day, when a bee became obsessed with my presence. I tried to wave it away, but for some reason it was persistent, like some annoying acquaintance that clings to you like a pest at some social gathering. I finally went inside to refill my glass, but also to get away from that irritating bee.

In my kitchen, I heard a deepersounding buzz than the one on my front porch. There, in the sill of my kitchen window, was a large bumblebee, angrily buzzing at the glass. I’d just been driven inside by a meddlesome bee; now, here was his distant cousin invading my kitchen. I grumbled an un-Christian oath about the little guy. I grabbed a plastic cup and slapped it against the window, trapping the bee inside. Sliding a card over the opening, I carried my imprisoned, infuriated, buzzing bumblebee out onto the front porch. With one swing I launched the little burglar into the air, saying, “And don’t come back!” In my moment of triumph, I noticed a woman staring at me from the sidewalk. So, to summarize, I’d been driven off my porch by a bee, caught a bigger bee in my kitchen, and both of these events led to the humiliation of being seen by a passerby, as I gave an insect the bum’s rush.

After months of bitter cold and frightening power bills, this incident reminded me that there actually are some good things to say about winter. During those bleak, long, frozen weeks, I was not once harassed by any members of the group of hexapod invertebrates known as insects.

I remember a trip I took as a teenager about 42 years ago. My friends and I were 17 or 18 years old and together we decided we’d drive to Missouri and have an early spring campout. I can’t remember if it was a private campground or a state park, but I do remember going to the campground washroom the next morning to do my business and clean up a bit. As I sat in the stall, I noticed a wasp crawling up the stall divider. Then I saw another wasp crawling along the stall wall. Afterwards, as I stood washing my hands, I noticed that the window just above the row of sinks was literally covered with hundreds of wasps. Spring was in the air and a new brood of stinging insects had emerged. Alone in the washroom, they all seemed to take an interest in me, as if I’d just barged into the wrong saloon. They weren’t flying around, and it was my intent to keep it that way. They just sort of stared at me, as I very slowly and deliberately made my way out of the campground john.

Spring is that time of the year when our little stinging, biting, blood-sucking friends re-emerge to brighten our days. Now, before you cry foul, I admit that many insects are beneficial; it’s just that I don’t want them taking up residence in my residence. Keep in mind: no matter how much bee keepers like bees, they also wear protective gear when in close contact with their buzzing friends, against the possibility that the amicable feeling the bee keeper has toward his bees, is not reciprocated.

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