Friday, July 23, 2010

A Bumblebee hurt my feelings

Today I was stung by a bumblebee. I have been under the impression that they are the gentle giants of the bee world until today. I was driving home from a day of volunteering at Pajaro Valley High School’s free veggies and meet a lamb day when I felt an intense burning-stinging sensation in my back. I searched frantically with my fingertips around my shoulder blade in the spot that you cant really reach with either arm in any direction trying to figure out what was causing such a great pain. I drove the last 2 winding miles home with my arm wrapped around myself squeezing the area trying to reduce the pain. When I stopped to open the gate I felt up my shirt trying once more to find a clue to my stinging shoulder blade. Still I found nothing until I felt a tickle on my arm and ferociously brushed off the culprit in a panic. I looked down to inspect the critter and was shocked that it was a bumblebee. I felt betrayed. Not only had a factual pillar been shattered but so were my feelings. Why was I stung? An advocate of bees who provides diverse nutritious nectars to drink and had boldly stated that bumblebees don’t sting.

I watched the damaged body quiver from the swat while my heart sank. My sadness was rudely interrupted by a throbbing in my back so I left the bee to die alone to take care of the wound it left on me. To soothe a bee sting or bug bite; apply either a tincture or poultice of dry or fresh Echinacea to a cotton ball and then tape to the sting until the swelling has reduced. Today I emptied out a capsule of dried Echinacea to some water and just rubbed it on, since I don’t have any of the other materials for a proper poultice, which relieved the pain immediately.
I’m still not sure how the bee got into my shirt in the first place and am willing to believe that bumblebees don’t actively sting as much as wasps but at least I know that Echinacea can reduce the discomfort of bug bites and stings.

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