If you’re like me, and I sincerely hope you’re not, you spent your childhood worrying about killer bees. You see, I was stung a lot as a child, having stepped on a yellow-jacket nest hidden in an old tree stump. That event was one of the most formative of my life. Oh, I act brave, shooing wasps and carpenter bees away, but that’s all a front. I was repairing a piece of furniture out in the garage over the weekend and a big old bee got in and started buzzing around. It drove me to distraction. I once had a bee land on my back and sting me for no apparent reason. Alone in the garage I had no one to watch my back. I decided to do some repairs back in the house instead. Let it have the garage.
During this pandemic, then, the last thing I needed to hear was that “murder hornets” have made it to the United States. And Republicans are bad enough! The murder hornet is responsible for double-digit deaths in its native land, and now my childhood nightmares of killer bees have reemerged. We had a warming trend over the weekend. There were so many wasps and bees around outside that I could even hear their buzzing with the windows safely closed. Insects are the future, of course. They adapt better and more quickly than we do, and there are many, many more of them. The Bible often uses insects as vehicles of divine wrath. No wonder horror movies often make use of them!
More rational minds soothe us, saying that murder hornets seldom attack people or pets. If provoked, however, they can do so fatally. Perhaps it’s the anger of stinging insects that bothers me the most. The yellow-jackets that attacked me certainly seemed angry. My stepping on their home was an innocent accident. It was also a learning experience. I don’t step on old stumps any more. I haven’t since the incident. Such early traumas can stay with you all your life, and the buzzing co-inhabitants of the earth, I have to remind myself, have as much right to be here as we do. In cases like killer bees, we invented them. When we play Doctor Frankenstein nature responds in kind. The monster was angry. Bees, wasps, and hornets may be intelligent but they can’t reason out the motives of bumbling humans who accidentally disturb them. And now a bigger variety has moved in. It’s probably best to keep calm and not get anybody angry.