Bee-yond bee-lief: drama in the media
This morning I was working out and watching the news when the reporter said something like, “Up next, Woodinville firefighters respond to a very unusual call.” Now why is it that any beekeeper would know—beyond a shadow of doubt—that the news piece was going to be about bees? I had no doubts. Call it extrasensory bee-ception. I waited impatiently through a string of commercials.
Sure enough, the story went like this. A 70-year-old beekeeper was tending his hive when he fell and dislocated his hip. He toppled his beehive as he fell and then landed in a pond. The bees poured out of the hive and formed a cloud around the pond, the beekeeper, and the responding firefighters. The beekeeper was wearing a beesuit and got stung only a few times. One firefighter was stung as well.
If you are having trouble picturing this, you are not alone. The news photographs showed scattered supers next to a landscaped fish pond with the man lying next to the water. Still, it’s hard to see how he got from the hive into the water unless he was running from the bees—something that would be hard to do with a dislocated hip. It there something they’re not telling us?
Firefighters said the man had been submerged for about thirty minutes before he was rescued, but that he was extremely calm and coached the firefighters on how to work around the swarm of bees. The reporter was using her “dramatic” voice and the firefighters were wearing gas masks, which made the whole thing sound really scary. No wonder so many people are afraid of honey bees.