I got bees! Bees may be the only insect that could make that exclamation point happiness. Compare it to I got fleas! to see what I mean.
Also, it is true: I got a hive of bees.
My parents gave me an old hive box, and I salvaged bricks from the vacant lot to elevate it. Then Squinchy and I drove home from Auburn with 5000 bees on the passenger seat of the car.
I took the plug out of their box and out they spilled in a mass, humming and swirling, crawling all over the little box with the queen.
They flew around me in a cloud, humming, humming. I kept myself so calm, or did the calm come from them? From the flowers and the beeswax smell and the zzzmmmm zzzmmmmm zzzmmmm. I didn’t know I could feel so much for insects, but already I am in love with those bees. It is as sweet and terrifying as any other love.
Then came the part that should be turned into an Olympic sport because it is harder than lawn bowling. Without letting the queen out, you have to replace the cork that holds her in with a mini-marshmallow. While wearing gloves. And veil. In a cloud of 5000 bees.
I did it, with no sports commentary, and put her little box into the hive, where the workers immediately began to eat the marshmallow between her and freedom.
Then I closed up the hive and went to get them some honey.
Before I went inside, I brushed all the bees off my coat and pants and the top of my hat. But in the quiet of the house, without the sound of the neighbor’s lawnmower, I could hear a muffled buzzing. I went back out and brushed myself off again. I went inside. The sound was still there. I went back out unzipped my raincoat.
Inside, on my chest, were fifteen or twenty bees.
My heart skipped a beat, for sure. They were crawling on my sweatshirt, which was pretty thick, but was also a V neck. My neck was bare skin. Yet none of the bees had stung me.
I brushed them off really quickly, none-the-less. Now I tuck my raincoat into my pants. Watch out, Paris.