Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Thumbs Up For Bees

Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I have an irrational fear of bugs. Not to the point that I climb on chairs, hide under the kitchen table or run out of the house screaming (all the time) whenever a tiny (winged or wingless), slimy, multi-legged critter flies, hops, crawls, walks, buzzes, slithers or marches its way into my home. But still. Bugs intimidate me.

Whenever I spot one of these ‘things’ in my home, I stand frozen for a few seconds while I try to decide what to do next. Should I smash it into oblivion with a shoe (that belongs to another family member)? Suck it up with my vacuum cleaner (and then vacuum the entire house to reduce its chances of crawling out)? Throw something weighty at it (like the refrigerator) that will squash it instantly? Jump up and down a few times shouting “Eww! Eww! Eww!”?


Though it may come as a surprise to many, most of the time I trap the menacing pest in a glass jar or paper cup and set it free in the great outdoors. Because I feel guilty if I kill one. Unless, of course, it’s a wormy, larvae type. Then I go get my husband. And let him deal with it.

But I’m not repulsed by all pests; there are a few that I really like. And some that I think are kind of cute. For example, ladybugs are cute. So are butterflies. I even think praying mantises are pretty cool. And dragonflies too. Unless they’re flying around my head. Then they’re more nerve-racking than cool. But I still like them.

And of course, I really like these little critters:

(My Photo – Taken At Montreal Botanical Gardens)

Is there anyone who doesn’t recognize these dudes?

When bees accidentally find their way into my home, I go out of my way to move them safely outside. This is an example of a bug that does not repulse me, one whose life I will definitely spare.

And I’m not the only one that gives bees a thumbs up.

In general, bees are held in high regard; this is mainly due to the fact that they play a very important role in pollination. And because they are basically harmless to humans. They do not sting unless they are threatened, and they are not a nuisance like wasps that buzz around your food, your drink and your head.

If you discover a bee while you’re puttering around your garden, don’t harm it. It’s a gardener’s friend. And if it wanders inside your home, escort it outside. Unharmed.


  1. Not a fan of bugs, either. In fact, growing up my own irrational insect fear WAS all about over it fast when I began gardening!

  2. Throw a refrigerator at it! That's classic!

    I too am afraid of a majority of the bug population. If it truly is a pest, I have to get someone else to do the dirty work...the crunching under the fingers is too much for me...if I'm alone, I have to break out the many layers of toilet paper so I don't feel the crunch under my fingers.

    Blehhh, I feel one crawling on my neck right now! :)

    But like you said, as a gardener we must get over this fear, or life is going to be a bit tough!

    Love the bees, though. I am excited when I see a lot of them in the garden. It's a very good sign!

  3. Hi islandgardener, sorry for taking so long to reply to your comment here. I’m finally back online after my move, so I’m going to work on catching up with my blog.

    I wasn’t always this queasy about bugs. I grew up with two brothers, so you can imagine some of the things I learned from them. I’ve no idea when this phobia started but it’s here. I don’t feel that way with bugs outdoors; just inside. Maybe indoors the bugs are just too close for comfort!

  4. Oh, Jesska, that crunching sound freaks me out! That is so funny you would mention the layers of toilet paper because I do exactly the same thing! :) I don’t want to feel the bug at all. Blehhh...blehhh...blehhh...