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28 April 2007 @ 11:57 pm
The friendly bumble bee, Part I  

Originally uploaded by where_the_light_enters.
Greg and I were having lunch out on our patio this afternoon. As we ate and talked, I glanced down and noticed a big, hairy, black and yellow bumble bee crawling in my direction. Without thinking, I started making little panic sounds, clumsily trying to get my feet off the concrete quickly. As I shifted around looking for a way to fold my legs, Greg finally noticed what was causing my discomfort. He studied the bee and said, "He's trying to crawl up your chair." My body tensed up at the thought of this insect crawling onto my back or arm or leg or whatever. Greg knelt down to have a better look. "I think something's wrong with one of its wings. It can't fly." Then he did something horrifying to me: he put his hand down on the ground and escorted the bee onto his palm. I watched him in awe and fascination, and started asking some questions to help myself settle down. "Aren't you afraid it will sting you? How can you tell it won't sting you?" Greg told me that not all bumble bees sting, something I'd never heard before. In my experience, not only do all bumble bees sting, but they do so unprovoked and for no apparent reason. I've been stung four times that I can remember, and each time, I was minding my own business and completely unaware of the presence of the bee until the onset of the sting -- once on the belly, the thumb, the leg, and the foot. So I wasn't sure I believed him completely and yet, there he was with the bee crawling from one hand to the next. He played with it for a while this way and then put it in the grass. It began to crawl with great difficulty toward a flower bed. I watched for a few seconds and went back to eating.
Current Location: the kitchen...again
Current Mood: impressedimpressed
paisleychick on April 29th, 2007 06:44 am (UTC)
Like father like son.... very much. Kragen loves inspecting insects and holding them. Especially grasshoppers....
pbramante on April 30th, 2007 05:19 am (UTC)
I have a friend who is terrified of grasshoppers. Kragen's grasshopper love would totally freak her out.

Ask Kragen to tell you about his backyard sessions on Jensen Drive with roaches and a magnifying glass...After the bee episode, Greg told me I should practice developing my insect courage by allowing a roach to crawl around in my palm. "They definitely don't bite or sting," says he, "so there's nothing to fear." Well, yeah, but...