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Nature: Bee Thing


Dear Bee Thing,

You were an awesome companion. You captured my imagination. Your nuzzles cheered me on bad days. And now you've tapped on the window for a final goodbye.

It's gonna be okay. Nothing lives forever, but love keeps memories alive.

Kindest Regards,

Your Pupil

Paper wasps, much like many "stinger insects", aren't going to attack you for no good reason. Some insects will, and without much provocation. The Africanized ("killer") honey bee is an example of the latter.

The key is to learn to identify your insects. Sit. Observe. Research. And then, sit quietly again when you see them. Don't flail. Don't panic. Just Be.

This attitude makes me less of a threat to them. Some come to the porch to visit me, especially if I have my sweetened coffee or tea handy. One sting would kill me but I garden ergo pollinators visit.

Many years ago, a carpenter bee decided to befriend me. She was Fuzzy Bee. I'd sit on the back deck with my laptop and she would come calling. I rested my hand on the table with just my index finger lifted. She alighted and then rubbed her body against that finger. It was bliss.

This was the Year of Bee Thing, a European paper wasp. She loved my coffee. It didn't matter if my cup was empty. She would alight on my arm or hand, content to rest there as we both soaked up the sun.

Do I recommend that you pet insects? No. I also don't recommend that you squish them. Bees and wasps play an important role in our ecosystems. 

All that said, don't allow them to become pests. They'll try to establish a nest close to where the good things are. It can quickly get out of hand. One visitor is fine. A swarm can be deadly to your pets, kids, and neighbors.

Don't even get me started on "murder hornets". Fuck those bastards.

OBLIGATORY WARNING: Do NOT approach any stinging insect if you have allergies to them.


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