Lori and the Bee

I dream of gardens.

Beautiful lush gardens with weeping willows and waterfalls where it doesn’t matter that geologically speaking I technically live in a desert. I want foxgloves and ferns, roses and rhododendrons, daisies and daffodils, bluebells and….and…damn, I’m out.

Also having no place in the fantasy garden is the fact that I live on a 6000 square foot lot. There is exactly enough room for a modest Japanese maple and small water feature. I can have a weeping willow, or I can have a bedroom for our oldest son. So we did what parents everywhere do when faced with these difficult choices. We tossed a coin.

Despite the lack of fecund soil or acreage, we do manage to get a little of the petaly stuff to grow. As do our neighbors. And we’re not above luring flowers into our yard with promises of sweets, sun, flavored water and attendants that will feed them peeled grapes. (Hey, the boy had to do something to earn the bedroom.)

So we do manage to get some charming pops of color into the space which should, theoretically, quench my thirst for quaint cottage gardens and give me hours of enjoyment while sipping cosmopolitans on my deck.

But there’s one more problem. Allow me to illustrate.

Contrasted with:

Bees (which is a category that describes any flying, stinging insect) cause me to break out in hives, a cold sweat, and Broadway show tunes. Bees (which is a category that includes any unidentified insect that may or may not sting but is guilty until proven innocent) inspire in me a speed which I have not yet equaled in any vehicle not powered  by a combustion engine. Bees (which is a category that includes any insect that I can’t see that makes an audible buzzing sound) manage to drive me indoors despite the fact that I out-mass ALL THE BEES IN MY YARD AT ONCE by a factor of about a zillion to one.

And no. I am not allergic. Although I once lied to a police officer about that when I thought the alternative was finding myself arrested for being stupid.

After 42 years of bee phobia I can manage the occasional flyby of a honey-bee, or shoo away a yellowjacket at a picnic table.

But that’s as far as it goes, people. You can’t ask more of me than that. I can’t handle it! AND YOU CAN’T MAKE ME!

This problem is heightened by the carpenter bees that have developed a chemical addiction to our bleeding hearts. (Or whatever that flower is in the first picture. I know it’s not a bleeding heart, I just don’t know what it is. If anyone knows, please tell me so I can get the bees into the correct treatment program.) The carpenter bees are the insect world’s Hell’s Angels, complete with shiny black attire, obnoxiously loud engines, and majorly aggressive attitude. Although the few times I ever hung out with Hell’s Angels they were pretty cool, and more than one of them had teddy bears strapped to the backs of their hogs. So really, the bees are worse.

It’s spring, the flowers are blooming, all should be loveliness and cucumber sandwiches.

And I’m standing safely behind a window giving a paper wasp the hairy eyeball.

– 10 Martha Points for me. Irrational fears don’t get me ahead.


This post linked to “Home Is…” @ The Reluctant Entertainer


  1. Oh my goodness gracious. You must deduct about 40 MP from me. I have a totally irrational fear of any and all flying insects. Or just insects in general, with a particular detestation of the flying variety. I once got into an accident on a major freeway because a lovebug flew in front of my face and I freaked out. I also once scared my little brothers half to death when a moth was in my car, buzzed in my ear and I swerved and slammed on my brakes on I-45. I am right there with you. The ones that I know sting cause general panic and mild hysteria.

    1. Ugh!! I hear you. A HUGE wasp got into my car, I started screaming (big help when you’re alone in the car), got the car off the road and tried to get the wasp out.

      This was when the police officer showed up to help the hysterical, crying girl parked on the side of the freeway, and I lied about having a bee allergy.

      I will wish for bug-free car trips for you from now on!

    1. Those flowers were, in fact, all growing in our yard so I can take full credit.

      (There’s an earlier post of a wisteria, and I totally stole that one from my neighbor.)

    1. We sort of break down along gender lines. Female -running screaming. Male – edgy but stoic.

      Except my youngest son. He’s more easily freaked. But he’s mostly cute, so we forgive him.

  2. Ok, first – your blog is always amazing, and I find myself here for every post [yes, I subscribed]. I love your writing style, and this LOL-worthy post is no exception!

    Second – I really don’t mind bugs. I really don’t, I swear. But those carpenter bees…they’re not bugs. They’re small animals. I once had one swoop at my face like a bird protecting its nest.

    They’re not insects. They’re just not!

    1. That is a lovely, lovely compliment. Thank you!

      And YES! Small animals! That is what they are. They’re territorial and if I try to turn the water on (the faucet is behind their favorite plant) they go all major-assault-creature on me and I end up running.

  3. Thanks for commenting on my tulips. Don’t be ashamed of your bee phobia. My husband is a grown man and he still runs around screaming if a bee gets anywhere near him.

  4. Great post! We have a lot of bees here, which we really need right now, esp. in our strawberry beds! But I hear ya. I think our kids the most frightful of bees. My husband is a cyclist and he’s always getting stung! Ouch!

    Thanks for linking up at RE today!

  5. A house full of three girls and a dad who grew up on the farm. Not a lot of sympathy is an understatement. Camping and eating outside seldom work. We working on it. The netting suits are not a big hit.

    1. I’m hoping for a personal radar device soon that emits nasty frequencies that keep them away.

      I’d wear it. Especially if they mounted it on a stylish hat.

  6. Show tunes and bee stings – thanks for putting that together for me. I never understood why people sang them out of the blue…

  7. Love the drawings but hate the bees and all their relatives too. Perhaps you can get some points back if you hang one of these (http://www.etsy.com/listing/31656279/old-glass-bee-catcher?ref=sr_gallery_11&ga_search_query=bee+catcher&ga_search_type=all&ga_page=&includes%5B%5D=tags&includes%5B%5D=title)
    outside or perhaps get all your points back if you make one yourself out of a soda bottle or jam jar.
    I actually have a bee/wasp catcher which shows just how terrified I am. Embarrassing yet true.

    1. Apparently, I have far too many species around that laugh at the typical bee/wasp catcher. We’ve put them up, and they do catch one kind (maybe a kind of yellow-jacket? Someone explained this to me once) but they don’t catch all the other kinds. I think my backyard is the origin of many new resistant species. : (

      But it’s adorable!

    1. One of my problems is an unerring ability to pick out the MOST bee-licious plants in the history of vegetation. It’s uncanny how I select the things they like most.

  8. I don’t mind bees, but I heavily dislike wasps and yellow jackets – urgh! Your drawing of the bee made me crack up! And those carpenter bees? Noisy “companions” for our outdoor life.

    Oh, and that flower in the first picture? It’s a salvia.

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