I have a thing about bees. I like them. They are essential to pollinate food crops. But that is not why I like them. They make honey, more than they need for themselves, so I can have honey on my toast at breakfast. That is one reason for liking bees.
I like bees because they are interesting to watch, and they are obviously having fun while they work to get honey and pollen from my flower garden. The big black and yellow bumble bees are particulaly interesting to watch. When their nest gives birth to some really big king and queen bumble bees, there is a flying show as good as the Air Force pilots perform over Cleveland each summer.
One kind of bee that is not so likable…well, it is not really a bee, but it looks like a bee and stings like a poison needle. Yellow jackets are wasps. They usually make a nest in a hole in the ground, and that is no problem unless the hole is your yard where you like to play. Sometimes they make a nest in walls of your house, and then you need professional help.
The yellow jacket is the pest that wants to eat your hamburger at a picnic. He or she wants to share your apple, and your pop and beer. I was drinking a can of beer one afternoon and shooing away a yellow jacket. When I was looking the other way, the little sneak got into the hole in the top of the can. I took a sip and spit him out. But not quickly enough. He stung my tongue, and I figured I was in for a trip to the emergency room.
I had just read a magazine article that day that said you can treat a bee sting with a slice of raw onion. I rushed inside, cut a slice of onion, and slapped it on my tongue. Halleluyah! No pain. The spot just became a little numb. And that is why I am writing this. Maybe you don’t know that raw onion can stop pain from a bee sting. Have some raw onion handy for your summer and fall picnics.
I might as well tell another bee story. On a vacation in North Dakota, my wife and I were driving behind a truck carrying bee hives. Bees were splatting on our windshield. I felt sorry for the little critters. We passed the truck and drove to a county park to have a picnic lunch.
Yeah, the truck driver stopped at the same park for his lunch. Honey bees flew around to investigate the park. I went to visit the driver. He was eating a sandwich and drinking pop with bees flying around his head. Didn’t bother him a bit. He liked bees, too. The bees weren’t stinging anybody and weren’t trying to get our food. They were just being friendlyand hanging out around us.
— Dean Norman
Dean Norman is a cartoonist and humor writer, whose work has appeared in greeting cards, The New Yorker, MAD Magazine, The Cleveland Plain Dealer Sunday Magazine and The Kansas City Star. He’s also written comedy for cartoon shows and written and illustrated children’s books. He illustrated a cartoon book for Cleveland Metroparks, Cleveland Metroparks Adventures.