The last time I was very close to a beehive, I was a kid of thirteen. It was spring, and my garden was blossoming with vivacious flowers. One day, while playing in the garden, I happened to see a colony of strange visitors—the honeybees. Their big black hive hung down the blooming branch of a clove tree.
Days passed. The hive appeared to be growing in size, day by day.
“Don’t go near the Beehive”, my mom would warn me every time I stepped out into the garden.
“Ok mama”, I would reply laughing under my teeth.
Despite mom’s warnings, I would go near the clove tree every day and behold the buzzing bunch of formidable bees for hours. Oftentimes, it was very tempting to fling a stone at the mysterious mass, and see the reaction. I had picked a stone up many a times and aimed at the hive with an intention of hitting it, but then withdrawn fearing mom’s admonition.
Mom said that if I tease them they would chase me to death! But it was so hard believing her. “Mom”, I would retort back amusingly, “how would these teeny-weeny creatures ever hurt me?”
I was the Tarzan of my wild garden, and the idea of those unsolicited bugs ‘chasing me to death’ in my own terrain sounded really funny. That afternoon, after mom was asleep, I tiptoed into the garden with an evil intention.
“No more dragonflies”, I said to myself, “No more sparrows. Today I’m gonna go honey-hunting”.
Filling up my pocket with few stones, I made my way to the beehive.
One…two…three… and Woooshhhh ! Towards the beehive flew the stone, and Bang!
“Mommy…mommy…mommy”, I ran screaming towards my house, as a bunch of agitated bees cut off from the hive and came after me.
They were mercilessly stinging me here and there. Some bit on my face, some on neck. Some crawled up my shorts and bit me on my thighs and buns. I was crying, howling, jumping!
“Mommy…save me mommy”, I rushed into the bedroom, with the swarm of heinous bees following.
“Goodness grace”, my mom panicked!
“Do something mommy…please”, I cried.
“Remove your cloths”, she screamed.
I stripped off my cloths hoping that the bees take me for a different person and go away. But they didn’t! They still lingered around my naked body, threatening me with their evil buzz, stinging me whenever they got the chance. Mom was helpless.
“Under the bed”, she pointed.
I crawled under the bed, and lay there naked, for an hour, crying.
“Come out son”, my mom called after sometime, “They’re gone…”
“I won’t”, I sobbed, “…never…”
Mom peeped under the bed with a consoling look on her face, and I was red with mortification.
After a great deal of persuasion, I crawled out from under the bed: embarrassed, guilty, and sore. They were gone. But they left me completely agonized.
Today when I see a honeybee, I shudder! I am very phobic to bees, and they’ll haunt me for the rest of my life. But they taught me a very important lesson: NEVER JUDGE A CREATURE BY ITS SIZE.
Though I fear bees more than an average person would, I don’t hate them. We need bees because they are an important part of our ecosystem . As Albert Einstein said: If the bee disappeared from the surface of the globe than man will only have four years of life left. Bees are beautiful creatures. They just need some personal space.