Bee Story

August 23, 2011

Bee Portrait

Bees in our backyard

Since so many of you asked about the bees here is a short story for your enjoyment. No, this did not happen this morning, but it is a true story that happened one morning in 2009 before Molly and McGee.

Good morning friends, gather around, it is story time. I hope you have or have had your morning cup of coffee, tea or café mocha. Donna and I watched “The Secret Life of Bees” last night, so I woke up this morning all inspired to check on our bees. We have two hives, which up to now have been tended by a professional beekeeper with me as his helper.

I suited up, fired up the smoker and grabbed my bee keeping tools. I approached the hives slowly and from the side, thus in effect, sneaking on them. So far, so good. Then I placed a little smoke around the opening, still no problem. Next, I pried up the top cover placing just a little smoke there sending the bees down to gorge on honey to save the hive. Of course, this is just a trick beekeepers have been using for centuries. Gently I removed the top cover and noticed my heart rate increased with the anticipation. I took a deep breath and lifted out the first frame with some help of my prying tool. Good, no problem I thought to myself, this will be a cakewalk.

In nature bees will make provisions for a second queen and drones so the hive will divide and swarm. That is how bees propagate. My purpose was to check for those queens and drones before they hatched and remove them because I did not want my bees to swarm. I don’t need another hive of bees. The way you do this is to find those extra queens and drones and remove them before they have an opportunity to hatch. I had watched a professional beekeeper do this before. It looked easy and according to The Secret Life of Bees course 101, if I got into trouble all I had to do was repeat “I love bees.”.

As I moved from one frame to the next, more and more bees swarmed about my head. A hum with a slight breeze sent chills rumbling through my body, but determined I continued. I mentally repeated the secret protection code “I love bees.” What did I have to fear? I had on a beekeeper’s suit, gloves and a hat with netting. “Nothing to fear, but fear itself,” I thought as the chill came over me. Don’t you find it interesting how your body tells you when something is wrong? I moved my eye around looking for that ghost creating the chill. I looked left, right and then back to center without moving my head, hands frozen I saw it…

A bee was inside the netting! I stared at it and it stared back at me only inches away. I could not control, nor stop the small cold drops of sweat that instantly covered my forehead. Before I could even think of something to do, the bee buzzed from the netting to my forehead. Alarms were ringing… Sting is coming, sting is coming. I wanted to squeeze my eyes shut but I could not. Then I felt the six tiny monstrous feet moving down my forehead. It was headed directly for my right eye. I will be blinded. Waves of fear chilled though my veins as I held my breath waiting for the inevitable. I could feel it move slowly down my eyelid, then over my right eye blocking the light. It paused. All was still. Don’t blink, don’t blink traveled though the galaxy and back, reverberating like boombox speakers.  An hour passed or maybe just an instant. Time was playing its trick on me. The bee then moved from standing directly over my eyeball to my cheek, Relieved, blood started to return to my brain.

Its path was not straight but curvy as the bee searched its unpredictable journey to the bottom of my chin where it suddenly decided to reverse direction. Regaining my ability to process data I slowly stepped away from the hives leaving the hum and breeze they created behind me fifteen or twenty feet. The stringer was now at my lower lip and moving up toward my nose. I reached up and gently as I could, I removed the hat and netting. I had not zipped it to the suit. By this time bee had started prodding my right nostril; it seemed to be debating entry. I slowly, slowly took a deep breath and just as the bee started to enter up my nose I blew out a huge puff of air.  And the bee flow away unharmed.

You have a great day,.

Carlos Royal, the experienced beekeeper.

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You can see Austin and I building a
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40 Responses to “Bee Story”

  1. Joan from Colorado Says:

    that was a great story Carlos..I am wondering if you ever tried it on your own again.. and if you do, remember to attach the hat to the suit.. I love M&M

  2. Caboval Says:

    Carlos!!! I held my breath through that whole story!!! What a great storyteller you are!!! Oh my goodness!!!
    By the way I LOVE Austins DVD! Well Done!!! And so inspirational!!! have a great day and when I put honey in my tea, I will think of you!!! Love Caboval

  3. Lee Says:

    Loved your bee story Carlos, and your photos of your bees and flowers are terrific…such a talent you are! Your sharing with us, is always, greatly appreciated.

  4. OhioCheryle Says:

    Carlos, you do tell a great story, this was better than reading the newspaper. Thanks so much for another laugh of the day. If you try it again tomorrow, please keep us updated….. LOL Love, OC

  5. Themauimom Says:

    WOW what a great story and an even better ending! I can almost hear you saying (of course after the bee was gone) “Wasn’t that fun and I was part of it!” =0) BTW my DVD came yesterday and it is wonderful!! Thanks so much.

  6. Selena K Says:

    Carlos – beeee careful :)


  7. OMG Carlos! You are one brave man. I am a lover of all creatures but, there is no way I would have been able to stay that calm and still as you did. I would have been half way to Kukamungaville in a flash. I shiver just thinking of that bee looking like he was getting ready to enter your nostril.
    Years ago I had three bees fly up my pant leg while gardening in my yard and I took off like a bat out of heck ripping my jeans off while running through the yard…LOL I’m sure my neighbors got a kick out of that one. Somehow I too managed not to get stung. Such a small creature that can make us so fearful.
    Thanks for sharing your bee story, I really enjoyed it.
    Sending Love From Colorado,

    CastOwLRockCoL

  8. CAequuslvr Says:

    The photos are lovely and the story is just suspenseful. Carlos, you are a wonderful storyteller. Thanks for the entertainment.

  9. Healani AKA FoxyTuTu Says:

    Wow, That would be a good Disney Movie!

  10. Karen in Sebring (SPO site) Says:

    Carlos, What a great story, I was on the edge of my chair the whole time! What a great storyteller you are. The photos of the bees were beautiful. Thank you! Karen

  11. PegRod Says:

    Wow, I agree with all the above comments! I would guess that the second flower is a California poppy – amazing color and detail which I could not see if I held the flower in my own hand! Love the photos of the “bee close to me”, too. Could you share what the plant or flowers in the first photo are, Carlos (or someone else familiar with that plant)?

  12. janie2 Says:

    I did not know you had bees until I saw the hive in the DVD. That was a great heart stopping story. Now that I can breathe again, I want to say “Thanks again for giving us the wonderful experience of Molly and McGee.”
    Austin did a fantastic job on the DVD. I’ve only watched it twice so far. ;-)

    Janie

  13. Susan Belloff Says:

    You have got to be kidding! I had the heeby jeebies just reading it! I am still squirming. Did you go back to the hive and finish the job?

  14. SARose69 Says:

    Wow! That is grace under pressure! I almost crashed a car once when a wasp came in through one of those little triangular side windows (remember those!) and up under my rather short skirt!

  15. Theresa aka windbeneathwing Says:

    Loved the story! You should write childrens stories! I think we all want to know if you finished the job. I think it is time for part 2.

  16. carol Says:

    What a great story I needed a good laugh today that is so funny you are the best!!!!!!!

  17. Sue Couch Says:

    Fabulous story, Carlos! Thanks for letting us in on Carlos, the King (Royal, of course) of Bees.

  18. YTQ Says:

    You’re a very good story teller! I was holding my breathe and laughing at the same time!!!

  19. flukestail Says:

    Bee on my face? I would have freaked out and begun swinging.
    Not as adventurous as you, Carlos. There are some things…actually, many things…in life that I can experience vicariously.

    “I love bees”…not so much.

  20. Helen Starkey Says:

    Enjoyed your bee story; what’s even more fun (and I have done this, keeping bees) is to accidentally burn a hole in the netting- smoker got too hot. Or don’t wear the whole suit, just long sleeves, and let a bee get squished behind your knee when you bend your leg; trust me they don’t like that! Hope you get lots of honey from your hives. It’s a very rewarding hobby.

  21. Lynne Townsend Says:

    Great Story—-and W H E R E was Donna with the camera!!! Would love to have been there to watch. Thank you Carlos for letting us in on your “Bee” adventure!!! You are ever so good to all of us!!!!

    LynneMcKay

  22. GeorgiaGoose Says:

    We used to have bees, and I did love them. I never had one go up my nose, but I did get stung a few times, usually when I did something wrong.
    I’ve seen what happens when a bee goes in a man’s ear and he tries to help her out. I didn’t know that much water could come out of a man’s eyes and nose!

  23. fran53 Says:

    Carlos, you are a Master storyteller! You had me anticipating your every word. The fact that the bee did not sting you is a testimony to your calm and soothing nature even when faced with adversity such as a bee up close and personal. Thank you for sharing your bee tale with all of us. You never cease to entertain us always. We appreciate you and all that you do, you’ve done and will continue to do.

    Once when I was 5, I was catching a wasp in a jar of leaves and twigs with holes in the lid. Just as I had the lid poised to close, darned if the wasp didn’t fly back out and bite my little pinkie finger. I ran crying all of the way home to my mother. She promptly put that orange liquid medicine on my finger (you remember – the one with mercury in it called something like “mecuricome”) and I ran back outside to capture a less threatening bug like a ladybug, haaa….. : )

  24. Kathy in "New Owlbany" IN Says:

    Carlos, this story gave me goose bumps! Omigosh! My Uncle Williard used to have bee hives and I remember him going out there all suited up when I was a kid. I was always admonished about staying away from the hives as a kid so I guess that’s why I developed a bit of a fear about them. Well, SO glad you made it through this “honey of an ordeal!” Whew!

  25. Donna Says:

    Carlos, I was on the edge of my chair and holding my breath the whole time I was reading your story, scary! Great pictures, you are so talented. Thanks for all you do!

  26. Joyce Says:

    wow…holding breath, just knew it would get you on the nose…you need to write a book…bet it would be a hit…bet you could do a western…keep the stories coming…got my movie and it is great…

  27. Nanci Says:

    I was totally enthralled reading your *bee tale*. You have such a gift, Carlos. I will always be appreciative for all you’ve sharing with us so willingly. Donna you’ve got a keeper!!!

  28. Vee Miller Says:

    Dear Carlos:

    You are an excellent story teller!!! I was holding my breath and sitting stiffly while reading your story. Great descriptive language – I felt like it was ME inside that bee suit/hat! Thanks for a great story.

    VeeTX

  29. Sherry Kelly Says:

    You tell a great story Carlos! Have you considered writing a book?

    Sherry Kelly, author of A Cat Named Zooby, Your New Baby’s Instruction Book, and, The Big Life of a Little Man: Michael Dunn Remembered. Google them!

  30. Eileen "Teatime" Says:

    What a wonderful story teller you are Carlos. My eyes were
    glued to every word. I am glad it all turned out well at the
    end. Thank you.

  31. Jo-Ann Says:

    Thank you…. it was a thriller… had me on the edge of the counter stool through the whole ordeal… Great story telling and I really enjoyed your experience… thanks again…

  32. Glenn Says:

    Carlos, great bee story! We used to play around the bee hives up in the snow and cold temperatures in the winter time in Wisconsin and they still can sting at zero degrees they just move very slow. I got the DVD’s yesterday. I know we will llove them as we did the first ones. Thank You Carlos, Donna and Austin.

  33. Judy Sackson Says:

    What a wonderful story! I don’t exactly love bees, so I think that if I had been in your place, I wouldn’t have been calm enough to keep from being stung.
    I just order the DVD at the end of last week, so I’m sure I will be in the next group when it goes out. I can hardly wait!! It sounds as fabulous as the first one.
    The pix of the bees are just wonderful….you lend magic to everything you touch!

  34. Anne Says:

    Hi Carlos-I love your bee adventure! As a kid there was a hive in a big pipe in a ditch that I used to visit. I loved talking to them, and the bees used to let me pet them. Bees sting as a last resort; I’m glad you weren’t stung; I believe it sensed your kindness. I love your pictures as well. Thank you for taking the time to share with us.

  35. PegRod Says:

    Memory Lane
    Molly and McGee
    Second Clutch

    August 24, 2010 – Molly Returns Wet
    https://mollysbox.wordpress.com/2010/08/24/molly-returns-wet/

    Carlos ends the paragraph with, “I guess that answers the question; do barn owls like water.”

    A nice photo submitted by a viewer of their Molly Watcher Sign in place, too.

  36. LoveYourDNA Says:

    Un-Bee-leevable!

  37. PegRod Says:

    Memory Lane
    Molly and McGee
    Second Clutch

    August 25, 2010 – Carrie Swallow Whole Mouse Molly Out For The Day
    https://mollysbox.wordpress.com/2010/08/25/carrie-swallow-whole-mouse-molly-out-for-the-day/

    Last year, same date, Molly spent the day out, too! Great photos and more Molly Watcher Sign photos from fans. Last year the moon was full on August 25th, this year (2011) it was earlier, on August 13th!

  38. moniq50 Says:

    Carlos, i keep on reading the bee story, so funny. I so enjoy your stories, and pictures.
    I am still waiting patiently for my DVD, well, as patient as I can be. LOL
    Hugz to you and Donna!

  39. Betty Rexrode Says:

    Wow………what a story. Had me on the edge of my seat! You were VERY disciplined….that saved you.

  40. Kim Gorman Says:

    Carlos, you are a master story-teller. Loved the bee story. Received our new DVD yesterday and will get to start watching tonight!! Tell Austin congratulations again for all of us.


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