Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
The subtle slide into kookdom
Published on April 20, 2007 By Draginol In Pets & Nature

As a kid, I was afraid of bees. I mean, hysterically afraid.  To be fair, I probably had good reason, I'd been stung hundreds of times by the time I was 12.  I grew up next to a swamp and was constantly getting stung by bees, hornets, wasps, etc. 

Admittedly, most of the stings were due to my own idiocy. Okay, nearly all were due to idiocy.  One time, after getting stung when I was 8, I "declared war" on the big wasp nest and attacked it with a stick.  The wasps won.  I was not a very bright boy.  As my 1st grade teacher said to my mom (seriously) "The world needs ditch diggers."

It wasn't until I was older that I realized that most people didn't get stung by bees a lot. I had just assumed being stung regularly was a normal thing.  I was afraid of bees because of the sound they made and just some psychological impact of seeing them flying around. 

Being stung, other than stinging (no pun intended) had no side effect.  I didn't even know until high school that some people were allergic to bees. Heck, I didn't even know people were supposed to swell up or get any mark at all.  I'd get stung and just watch the little stinger pumping in my hand, arm, leg, whatever.  I'd eventually pull it out but there wasn't even a red mark.

I'm still afraid of bees.  I really don't like having an irrational fear of something.  So I've decided to take up bee keeping.  I bought a 3 acre property that has nothing on it presently and am thinking of raising honey bees. I'm only at the beginning phase of educating myself as to what is involved. The next step is buying the gear and then finally getting the actual queen bee to start the hive.

I also think it is something good for my kids to be exposed to as well.  Funny thing, my oldest son was stung by a bee just today. If my wife hadn't seen it, people would probably not believe him -- not even a mark.


Comments (Page 1)
on Apr 20, 2007
I think you'll find it extremely interesting and very rewarding. I used to help an old man that kept bees along time ago and it was fun. Hard work (suprisingly it's a LOT harder than it looks!) but fun. And the best thing? THE HONEY. There's nothing like fresh honey and chewing on honey comb.
on Apr 20, 2007
When you can wear a bee beard then you’ll know you’ve completely overcome your phobia.
on Apr 20, 2007
Well we do have something in common here. I am very afraid of anything flying that stings. Hornets are the worst for me. I got stung badly when I was a kid. I was on a roof cleaning an old lady's window for her. She was going to pay me a whole quarter to do so. I got stung so bad I almost fell off the roof. My dad rushed me to a mud puddle where he applied the wet cool mud to lessen the stings. I've never forgot that and to this day am terrified of nothing more than hornets and bees.

My boss's dad is a bee keeper. He gives us honey every year for Christmas and is very knowledgeable about this . He makes one good raspberry whipped honey that is awesome.

Good luck with the bee thing. No way would I dare to do that. I'm too much of a sissy.
on Apr 20, 2007
Heh, you were pumped so full of venom that you've built up a decent immunity. I've only been stung twice in my life. Beekeeping looks like an interesting hobby and if I had the time I'd probably invest in a hive or two myself for fun and honey. I could easily put some in my backyard and start up my garden again...it'd be pretty sweet.

Well, good luck with that and let us know how it goes.

~Zoo
on Apr 20, 2007
Nice article.

What a fun thing for your boys to be involved in and learn about.
on Apr 20, 2007

I think this rocks...I am all for facing fear and kicking its a-s-s.

I am not afraid of bees, often take my shoe off and swat them while my kids are running away.

But don't get me close to a large spider...then I beat my kids out the door!

I agree with Shovel....fresh honey....yum!

on Apr 20, 2007
I agree with Shovel....fresh honey....yum!


You know, both the honey and the honeycomb are mixed with copius amount of bee saliva and enzymes.

Oh, and if you want a fun little way to learn, then try this: Link It's a neat little site.

~Zoo

on Apr 20, 2007
Good luck with this! I saw a documentary the other day where they said that the African Killer Bees were killing off the Honey Bees, so we definately need more of them!
on Apr 20, 2007
I agree with Shovel....fresh honey....yum!


Also eating local honey is good for combating allergies too...
on Apr 20, 2007
Good luck with this! I saw a documentary the other day where they said that the African Killer Bees were killing off the Honey Bees, so we definately need more of them!


Sort of, yes...African bees were accidentally released in Brazil around 1956, I believe, and began to spread and breed with our honeybees, including those that we use in hives, making hybrid Africanized honeybees which produce less honey and have a horrible aggression problem.

Heh, heh...the more you know.

I sound like a huge nerd, don't I?

~Zoo
on Apr 21, 2007

Bees are no bother.  Bumbles are neat!  Wasps look evil, but I like them too.  But Hornets!  They are true devil spawn!  I hate them!  Been stung more times than I can count by those little demons from hell!

But like you, other than hornets, the other stings rarely leave a mark, and half the time, I dont even realize I have been stung.

Enjoy the honey!

on Apr 21, 2007
All I could think of after reading this piece was the old song about the bumblebee that invaded the nudist colony.
Oh, Buzz buzz buzz, oh my oh me,
Oh, Buzz buzz buzz, oh gollee gee,
Oh, Buzz buzz buzz, it was an awful spree, when the bumblebee invaded the nudist colony!
on Apr 21, 2007
Oh, Buzz buzz buzz, oh my oh me,
Oh, Buzz buzz buzz, oh gollee gee,
Oh, Buzz buzz buzz, it was an awful spree, when the bumblebee invaded the nudist colony!




Good luck in facing your fear.
on Apr 21, 2007

how could i not promote a very positive buzz about this???

bees be potentially very lucrative as well.  colony collapse syndrome is making them increasingly valuable. 

might wanna leave your cell at home tho.

How doth the little busy Bee
     Improve each shining Hour,
And gather Honey all the day
     From every opening Flower!

How skilfully she builds her Cell!
     How neat she spreads the Wax!
And labours hard to store it well
     With the sweet Food she makes.

In Works of Labour or of Skill
     I would be busy too:
For Satan finds some Mischief still
     For idle Hands to do.

In Books, or Work, or healthful Play
     Let my first Years be past,
That I may give for every Day
     Some good Account at last.

          --Isaac Watts, 1715

on Apr 21, 2007
I have some homesteading books that talk about bee keeping, one in some detail. If you're interested, I'll give you the titles of them. When Dave retires from the AF (only 5 years to go now woo-hoo!) we've got plans for a home on a couple of acres with an orchard, honey bees (good for pollenation)some veggies and, of course, chickens.

Bees are good for honey, yes, but there are many other uses for them: beeswax is good for candles and also furniture polish, and there are alternative therapy practitioners who use bee stings on their patients with rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and a host of other diseases and disorders. Basically, you freeze the bees and send them to the clinics, where they're thawed and then used on the patients.

Good for you for tackling your phobia head on!
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