Thursday, June 4, 2009

Dear BEE, Why ME?

Once in a while, I get stung by a bee. When it happens, the pain is agonizing and I unwillingly produce a loud , high -pitched scream. Luckily, I'm a non-allergic victim as the pain and swelling occur locally only. Quick removal of the stinger and a cold water compress on the affected spot are of great help.

The strangest 'stinging incident' occurred to me years ago in a glass shop on the tiny Murano island near Venice. This island is a ten minutes ride by waterbus (vaporetto) from Venice and is based on glass industry. It has glass factories, glass showrooms, glass souvenir shops, glass-blowing demonstrations by professional glass blowers, glass museum, glass, glass, glass in various colors, shapes and qualities.
Quite a place with character.

Vivarini furnace, Vivarini bridge - Murano

Well, we were several people in the souvenir shop, and I was the one who got the sting !! I was "the chosen one". There was nothing about me to attract bees or humans. I was in simple plain clothes, no bright colors, no jewelery, no perfume, no scents, no flowers or sweets in my hands, bag, or around me . Nothing of all those things that are said to attract or irritate bees. As I recall, I was standing under a chandelier with fiery colors, maybe that was it.

When I delivered my 'operaic' scream, something on a shelf near me fell and got broken. The shop owner was in complete shock (broken glass is an ominous sign in many cultures and apparently he had seen nothing like this before), but he composed himself and behaved very gently towards me. He fetched me cold water compresses for the swollen spot until I felt less pain , and tried to cheer me up as only italians know how. Before leaving, I offered to pay for the broken item. The shop owner refused to take any money from me , even for the two items I chose to buy prior to the incident. He said he wanted me to leave with no hostile feelings for the place where I had experienced pain and misery.

The last time I got stung by a bee was two weeks ago in Jerusalem. I had to be at an office to get a certain document stamped & signed. I was very happy that the procedure took only 5 minutes , but my happiness was of short duration. As I left the building- oops! sting and scream. ( It was a cool, cloudy day and they say bees are angry on such a day).

In Jerusalem, if a scream like that is heard, security people automatically start looking for terrorists. When they learnt it was false alarm , the look on their face said something like that: "Shame on you , to make such a fuss over a bee sting, when we are struggling against Terror".
(Sorry, Fellows).


  1. Duta, I know why the bees are stinging you. It is because you are such a sweet person :) Of course they are attracted to you...LOL

    I love Murano glass. When in Paris I bought a beautiful Murano glass ring which I later broke by dropping on the marble floor!

    Isn't it nice when people respond with kindness? The shop owner was a good person to treat you kindly and want you to leave with good thoughts. Not all would be so kind.

    It is bee season now so best be careful, Duta!
    Have a Beautiful Day!

  2. Duta, I like the new look on your blog! As for the bees stinging you: It seems odd to me too, that they chose you since you didn;t have any of the usual bee attractors. As for the shop keeper: He was very wise to treat you that way, since it was in his shop that the bee-sting happened.

    I wish I had been there to see the scream and the item on the shelf falling down...a nd I would like to hear that scream too. :-) :-) :-)


  3. Duta,
    sorry for your pain, but the incident in the glass shop was funny! And it was nice you didn't have to pay anything! You must have quite a piercing scream that it moves glass items from its place:)

  4. TheCheekGeek,
    Kelly you make me blush with your kind words. People that know my bee problem like to joke on it, but it's no joke for me, believe me.
    BTW, I was told that the bees that leave their stinger in the victim's skin, are females.

  5. Lorna,
    Thanks. I'm glad you like it.The shopkeeper was wise and kind , but also superstitious. He kept saying he was a sinner and that the bee incident was a sign that he had to improve his ways. Of course, I don't know what sins he was referring to.

  6. jeannette stgermain,

    People that came with me to Murano, kept talking all the way back to Venice only about the fact that I got two lovely glass items without paying for them. How could they be envious in such circumstances as a bee atack? Only the shopkeeper showed genuine kindness about my pain & suffering.

  7. This is a charming tale, and with the shopkeeper's sin added, it becomes a short story worthy of Borges, M.F.K.Fisher, or A.B.Yehoshua.

  8. TallTchr,
    Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad you liked it.

  9. HI Duta,
    I liked your bee story, although I'm sorry you got stung. I have a bee story as well and I'll try to do a post about it. It's pretty interesting, it even inspired me to write a poem :-)

    thanks for stopping by and commenting on my thrifty treasures that I bought this week.

    Stay Well!