Personal Journeys with Gramma

Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.

My Husband, The Bee Whisperer


Fear seems to attract that which is feared.  Did you ever know a person who was allergic to cat hair who wasn’t almost irresistible to cats?  The cats seem to know they’re being avoided and flatly refuse to be pushed aside.  We had a cat who NEVER snuggled with anyone—except our house guest who would begin wheezing as soon as the cat approached.  My husband is deathly allergic to bee stings, so bees adore him.

I know.  You’re going to say bees have no emotions, and I have no clue whether they do or not, but I do know that our house has become a vacation destination for them.  This summer we had fewer hummingbirds than usual, but even so, we kept six hummingbird feeders hanging from the roof of the deck.  We had maybe 40 birds at a time.  I think Costco was about to submit our names to the Diabetes Association for counseling because we bought SO MUCH sugar.

Naturally, hummingbirds aren’t the only ones who enjoy a good blast of sugar water.  First, we had an onslaught of tiny black ants.  They constructed invisible highways to direct their fellows to the feeders.  Our deck hosted parades of tiny black visitors.  Next came the bees.  At first, we had a combination of honeybees (which we welcomed) and yellow jackets (for whom we showed less enthusiasm).  However, the honeybees soon surrendered to the greater force of the yellow jackets and went elsewhere.

One complicating problem was that bears like syrup, too, so we had begun bringing our feeders indoors each night to prevent bears from deconstructing them.  Of course, with bees covering the feeders, we didn’t want to bring them in any longer—especially since the bees waited by the door to come in with them.  We decided a trip to the Emergency Room for anaphylactic shock was not worth the price of six destroyed feeders.  We left the feeders to fend for themselves.  Apparently, the bears were no more enamored of the bees than we were, because they stopped coming.  Both the feeders and my husband survived.

Have you ever seen one of those videos of someone COVERED in bees?  Our hummingbird feeders looked exactly like that.  When my husband went outside to refill a feeder, he would tap excess bees off the feeder and say, “Don’t sting me.  I’m just going to give you more dinner.”  And, for some reason, the bees never stung him.  They swarmed around his head, crawled up his arms and even on his face under his glasses, but they never stung him once.

Now the hummingbirds have gone south.  We generally leave a feeder or two in place into October to accommodate hungry stragglers, but we haven’t seen a hummingbird for a couple of days.  You can already guess who stayed.  Yup.  The bees.  My husband removes empty feeders at night when the temperature dips near freezing.  But as we sit at the breakfast table looking through the screen door over the sliders, bees come to the screen.

“Hey, what happened to the feeders?” they seem to ask.  One even fell prey to a particularly voracious orb weaver spider that patrols the outdoor light by the door.  “It’s okay,” the surviving bees seem to say.  “We still love you.”

One comment on “My Husband, The Bee Whisperer

  1. Frances Sullivan
    September 26, 2015

    So good. Beautiful phrasing and imagery…can see it all!

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