Swarm

the first time I got stung by a swarm of I was going to say hornets but they’re not I know what a
hornet is compared to a bee but I’m not entirely sure if a hornet is the same as a wasp I suppose I
could look it up but anyway these were yellowjackets built more like a bee but they nest in the
ground and don’t die the first time they sting you they just keep stinging and stinging there are so
many kinds of bees honey and humble and sweat and meat though I think meat bees are the same
as yellowjackets maybe anyway I was six a week before the first day of school they got caught in
my hair and under my shirt and wouldn’t stop stinging I’d ridden over their nest or hive in the
woods with my bike it seems silly now not to know the difference between a hornet and a wasp
my mother has started calling the whole lot of them things she knows the difference but the
words are slipping away no one talks about how the mass bee deaths which is called colony
collapse disorder are affecting the yellowjacket population I suppose people actually are talking
about it but I haven’t heard or seen it in the news when a regular bee stings you it rips out part of
its abdomen and digestive tract and muscles and nerves and it hurts you to be stung but it kills
the bee I haven’t been stung in twenty or thirty years I never asked if my mother has been stung
sometimes the things we fear most never go away and sometimes you wonder suddenly if maybe
they might already be gone

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