Note: the knees are not the defining characteristic of a bee. This discussion has been had now, many times. When a bee lands on your arm, you do not say ‘my word, what a fine bee. Look at its splendid knees’. No, you say ‘holy heck, the little bugger’s going to sting me!’ Thus, the saying should really be ‘the bee’s bum’.
Although when it comes to stinging you, wasps are really more likely to do that. Evil, stripey, sadistic little gits.
Bees, though. They’re cool. They make a soothing summer buzzy noise. Not the looming horror of the zeppelin-like wasp. They zip about gleefully. They make frickin’ honey. (Note: by this token, it has also been established that wasps make jam, earwigs make jelly and ants make sugar).
There’s a point to this. I’m coming to it.
I was talking to my dad on the phone earlier tonight and he is contemplating keeping bees on his allotment. This may not sound particularly exciting to you, but to me, it was lovely to hear him talking with such enthusiasm about a potentially new hobby. He’s looking into it quite seriously and it seems to have set off a spark of life in him again. My dad is a fairly solitary soul; in part by choice. When my mother was still alive, they always preferred each other’s company to anything the rest of the world had on offer. As myself and Dearly Beloved are similarly inclined, I get that. But it also means that he’s been at a bit of a loose end for the past few years.
He’s only in his early seventies, my dad. He’s pretty fit and barring some age-induced aches and pains and one or two controllable medical conditions, he zips around like a busy little bee himself. He works hard in his allotment, he programmes a mean spreadsheet and he complains about the internet without even going on it. I am kind of relieved; he’d be the most effective internet troll ever if he dared step onto fora.
Anyway, the fact that he’s got this new interest has really made him happy and he seems to have finally chucked out the half-empty glass and found himself one that’s half-full. I’m thrilled about this. Long may it continue. Life is too short to contemplate the inevitable outcome.
I grew up in the countryside and there’s an old superstition about telling things to the bees. (This is a lovely little site about such things). Bees! Listen up, I must tell you something.
I have to sadly record the passing away of my ex mother in law – Jamie’s nana – today. She was a truly lovely, wonderful woman; one of life’s real heroes. She was a nurse all her working life and had a smile on her face right up to the end, as I understand. She may or may not have gone to a ‘better place’, depending on your personal beliefs, but one thing is sure and that is that she isn’t suffering or in pain now. And for that, we’re all outstandingly grateful.
It’s been a long, difficult day, but speaking to my dad on the phone and listening to that sudden new drive balanced it out.
And to end this post on a cheery note, here is a bee with a pollen afro.