Mandan News

Dateline: Sept. 13; Location: Lake Tschida; Issue: Bees

By Dan Ulmer, Those Were the Days

I was in the midst of trying to figure out what to say to you when I found myself surrounded by bees. As I tried to gently sway them away by blowing at them I noted that my bright yellow Bison T shirt was kinda glowing in the sun and I think the bees thought I was this huge yellow flower. So for a moment there I wondered if I shouldn’t change into something with more camouflage.

For the record it was cocktail time and I was attempting to grill some pork and my friend Sam Adams was sitting in front of me. I opened up this here laptop that I’m presently talking to you with, grabbed Sam, and he was covered in Bees….Like, OMG those are Bees!

Normally it’s the flies, especially those that bite, out here in the wilds of Tschida, but on 9/13/13 from what I can tell the bees have decided it’s their turn to run the place for a while. They were everywhere and although I had no idea what they were looking for they sure were busy checking everything out.

I’ve been stung a number of times but most often that’s because I was unaware that I put the bee in a corner and left him no choice (like when I grabbed a tool with a bee on it etc.). More often than not, if I just stay calm and pretend to ignore the bees flying around me they leave me alone. I’ve had them land on me and blown them off with a puff of my breath…or gently nudged them away by waving my hands etc.

There have also been times when I was attacked by bees, like the time I mowed under a bush and somehow managed to put my nose within a few inches of a hornets hive. In my zeal to get away I hit the hive, somehow broke my thumb, and they came after me and stung me 8 times before I escaped their rath. But most times I’ve been able to avoid getting stung by just being aware that they are there and remaining calm.

Most folks when confronted with a bee go into a frenzy, they wave their hands, swing at the bee for all they’re worth and more often than not they just put the bee into the same frenzy forcing it into attack mode…and if the person is lucky they win, if not they get stung.

There I was surrounded by bees whilst typing this note to you and since I wasn’t in a rush I counted them for you. I lost track at 46 because they were all busy buzzing from place to place around the picnic table and me.

A couple landed on me, one even went up my shirt sleeve (which caused a bit of consternation on my part) but I just shook my arm and he went off to explore something else (thank God). Occasionally a few would hover rather close to me but I just literally blew them off with a puff of breath or a wave of my hand and they went away…

So there’s what I know about bees and that’s about all I got to say about that. Here’s hoping that you can handle whatever’s buzzing around you too…