I grew up with a grandpa that had honey bees. Each year we went out to watch him get the honey from the bees and each year, my dad was so curious that he dragged me through the area where the bees were, and each year I came home with several bee stings.
About the year I turned 9, my grandpa, felt it was time for me to learn how to handle bees. With my several “combat” experiences, it was not something I looked forward to, but he told me it was going to be okay, he had informed his bees, he was going to have a guest with him, a sweet young girl, there were very interested in meeting them all.
I got suited over in hat and net, but only so they couldn’t get into my hair. I will never forget that day, that journey my grandpa and his bees took.
We open the first bee hive and my grandpa said, now stand still, just watch them. I thought I was going to pee in my pants of fear, and my grandpa knew, he said, “I know, I know, she is a little bit scared, but she is okay, everyone that want to visit can visit soon.” He showed me how to hold out my finger and shortly after one of the bees landed on his hand, made a little dance and flew off.
I was not keen to let them land on my finger, I was so scared, but I put out my hand and the bee landed. My grandpa could see right away the bee didn’t dance, but was sensing me instead, so he reached out let it climb over on his hand, asked me to go into the house, and in that moment, I turned around and walked towards the house, the bee stung my grandpa.
Shortly after he came into the house, and we had a long talk about how bees die when they sting, and they only sting when they can sense fear, and they become scared. I cried, I had just killed a tiny little creature, just because I was scared of something I shouldn’t be scared of. I was so much bigger and greater.
30 minutes later I was ready to go out again. We walked back to the same hive that had settled down, and again my grandpa showed me how it did a happy dance, when it landed on his hand. He asked if I was ready, and I said yes.
I held out my hand, and with the words from my grandpa, ”Let go of your fear, they are not going to hurt you” a tiny little bee landed on my hand, I got so happy they wanted to greet me, and hoped this little creature would accept me; within seconds after sensing me, the tiny little honey bee did it’s happy dance, right there on my hand. I was so happy, and asked if another one could land, and he said, just ask, and I did, another one landed and then another and then…. After several bees, my grandpa reached out and said, now they have accepted you, now you can pet them.
One landed on his finger and after the dance, he stroked it gently over it’s back, and again it did another happy dance. Each time he stroked, each time they were dancing. He looked at me and said, “your turn.”
I put my hand out and again a tiny little bee landed, and with my other hand I reached up and gently petted it over its back, and I got a happy dance.
We only made it to the first hive that day, but I learned a lot about how fear can easily be transferred.
After that day, I was out there with my grandpa, each time he was out there, help and talking and petting bees.