To Bee or not to Bee!

Bees v wasps. This could 'bee' a problem

Hopefully the Bard (Shakespeare) will forgive the play on words, but bees are a problem for me.  Across the pond, we had huge fluffy bumble bees that could often be seen flying erratically with enormous bags of pollen attached to their legs.  Then we had  worker bees that spent time directing other workers to pollen rich sites, and then there was the queen!  She would reign supreme until she abdicated, died, or was too old to lay eggs, or just woke up one morning feeling brassed off.  Then she would be told to 'bee' off, and off she would buzz to bother some other hive.

It has come to my notice that there are many more species of bees over here.  All very confusing.  For instance, there are the weird bees (carpenter bees) I think, that bore holes in  freshly painted woodwork....causing me to gnash my teeth in frustration.  If that's not enough, there are those little solitary bee like insects that build mud nests, and who get very annoyed when a well aimed jet of water indicates that they should re-locate.  Memo to self.....try not to be really obvious when aiming jet of water onto mud dauber's nest, because they (the bee or whatever it is) will find you very quickly, and the resultant union will not be pleasant for the water aimer.

It is such a shame that I am a honey lover!  Local honey, foreign honey, clear honey, cloudy honey, runny honey and honey that needs to be chipped out of the comb - any honey will find a place to stay in my pantry.   So I really need to 'bee' alert so that I don't get confused.

Now if I could readily identify the friendly type of bees or bee lookalikes, I would be ahead of the game.    Little nests that hang down usually on sides of windows, are usually inhabited with a type of wasp/bee with a very sour disposition.  Someone in authority should tell them that if they built their very clever nests somewhere  where humans would be unlikely to even notice them, they would not then suffer a lethal jet of whatever is the popular wasp/hornet deterrent.  Boy, do they ever get mad!   I am considering changing my address, but those suckers would probably follow me.  And that's another matter!   You would think that 2 or 3 cans of spray later, they would catch on to the fact that building clever little nests under the mail box is going to get them sent to the great Hive in the Sky, and that would be sooner rather than later, as those critters hurt when they sting. 

I count myself lucky that I do not yet need to carry an Epi pen around with me, but if it's all the same to you, I'd rather not have to test my resistance to bee stings at this or any time in the future.

I was always taught that the bigger, cuddly looking bumble bees will do their honeyed best NOT to sting you, as the action of stinging also removes their inner works, so you may well be stung, but they will have been recalled to join the Great Bee Keeper - not in anyones best interest really.

Now wasps, for instance, are just mean.  They will not only sting and run, they will execute a 'fly round' and come back and get you again, and again!  So unfair! So you see, I do have a problem not only with American bees, but also with the wasp, hornet, and whatever else flies with a stinger in its tail.    I see no reason to wait for an introduction accompanied by a natural history lesson on bees and wasps, because by the time I have realised that I need to learn the difference, I will have already been stung.  So to  Bee or not to  Bee, that is the question, and I do not have the answer.


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