On was on this mission to face my fears. I managed to:
-Handle gardening with huge, meaty Australian spiders in Byron Bay,
-Walk boldly through brown snake infested areas at night with only a flash light
-Not freak out too much after finding a well fed leech glued to my arm in Daintree Rain Forest
-Scuba dive with Reef Sharks and Sea Snakes in the Great Barrier Reef
-Wade in a river where crocodiles have been spotted in the Palm Forest
But I had yet to face the bees. I couldn’t do it alone, so I decided to stay with some Beekeepers for a few days. Luckily, the bees were in the far side of the yard, so for the first day or so, I was out of the hazard and only dealing with the fun aspects of bees: beeswax. I made scented lipbalm, candles, and all sort of little random things these beekeepers sold out of their little shop. But the day came when I had to put on a netted hat, long sleeves and pants, and gloves and take apart some bee hives.
I learned a lot about bees, even that there are bees that do not have stingers! They’re so cute! Little black Nat looking things that make a unique tasting honey. If only all bees didn’t sting.
But talk about riding the fear. They were crawling on me and flying near my face. And here I am listening to my host tell me all these procedural things about dealing with bees, all while desperately holding myself back from sprinting into a chaotic run.
Later they got a call. A bee swarm has overtaken the backyard of a town resident and they wanted the bee keepers to come remove the bees. Upon arrival at the scene, it was clear that removing the bees would be no easy task. Even the bee keeper wasn’t crazy enough to climb the tree and capture the clump of bees that were grouping around their homeless queen. “Give it a few hours,” the bee keeper told the resident, “they might just be stopping for a rest, hopefully they’ll move on.”
He was right, hours later, just as a swarm of bees had moved into the bee keeper’s yard, the resident called to report that the bees had gone.
It is an uneventful story from the outside, but I was proud of myself, because by the time I left I was able to stand in the middle of a bee swarm and without flinching.