The Dreaded Hornet Nest: Bee Careful!

It was around summer of 1982 and I was almost done being 10. My brother and I had been charged with mowing my grandparents yard since they were getting older and didn’t have the time or energy to do it. Although my grandpa had a riding mower, we never used it because it needed an oil change… Really? So we had to use push mowers to mow several acres of tall grass. In fact, we mowed at their house only 2-3 times a summer so the grass was very tall. They lived on an old farm with few neighbors so no one complained, and the grass never got mowed.

Tall Grass

Tall Grass

 So we would start early in the morning by checking the oil, filling the fuel, cleaning the air filter… All the normal stuff people do before mowing their lawn. I know, right? No one does all that! It would take forever! At around noon, at the hottest part of the day, we would finally get started mowing. The mowers that me and my older brother used were not the typical push mowers that we use now. In fact, they were about 20 years old at the time and made of solid lead with a little extra weight thrown in for good measure. They were very heavy. Of course they were self propelled, but with the chains and belts off. You see, nothing at my granpa’s house was in very good condition. He had all the parts in his garage, catalogued and in order, but he never got a round to it.

Round Tuit

Round Tuit

He spent more time showing people his “Round Tuit” than actually using it. Now you might be getting the impression that I did not like my grandfather very much, but it is just the opposite. I loved my grandpa very much. A lot of what I know and who I am is from him. I would say that my father and my grandpa have been the most influential people in my life. I learned how to putter and procrastinate from grandpa, I learned it well…

So we mowed and grandma brought us lemonade, then we went exploring. Usually we would hang around the old barn or go into the woods. But, this particular day we found a hornets nest hanging from a tree. Now this hornets nest happened to be next to an apple tree… I know what you’re thinking, and you would be right. I could not resist. I think I got stung about 12 times during that exchange. The moral of the story is, don’t throw apples at a hornets nest and then try to hide behind a little hill hoping that they wouldn’t find you. They know and they are fast. Funny thing is… I missed on the first throw. God gave me time to really think about what I was doing and analyze if this was the best course of action. I blew it, sorry God, and hit the nest square on the second throw. They were on me before I could hit the ground. I’m not sure where my brother went during all this… He must have heard God talking.

Sometimes in life we have the opportunity to do really stupid things that will end up not ending well. God is constantly giving us chances to change or to rethink our path. Some of us don’t think that God is talking to us or we can’t hear him. But he is there. Sometimes it is through others or reading our Bibles, other times it’s just having a second chance at being really stupid. Either way, we just need to stop and listen and then do the right thing. There is bad stuff out there all around. We have the opportunity to do the right thing and think first. I think it is in our nature to try the wrong stuff first, or maybe it is from making the wrong decisions in the Garden of Eden, but that is what makes life so interesting.

Stop back later and I will talk more about actual bees and what to do with them.