I know it's completely irrational, but I am deathly afraid of bees. Actually, anything that flies-and-stings (bumblebees, honey bees, yellow jackets, wasps, hornets, you name it). I mean, I despise those nasty stinging scorpions, but bees totally freak me out.... probably because they fly right at my face! In broad daylight! The audacity! (Scorpions don't even do that.... they mostly just sneak around at night.) I'm a grown woman with a college degree, and I know bees are very beneficial (and I love honey), BUT I just can't help it. I freak out when one comes near me.
There IS a reason. When I was about 9 or 10 years old I was on a picnic in the woods with my family. It was a lovely day and after eating lunch my siblings and I all explored the nearby area. I think every child is intrigued by a fallen tree and seem to have a natural instinct to walk across it, don't they? I certainly did. I proudly walked the length of all the fallen trees I saw, large or small. One particularly large one seemed especially old and very interesting.... almost enchanting. As I walked happily along it my foot suddenly sank right through the rotted wood (yep, you guessed it) right into a bee hive.
As you might imagine, the bees did NOT like my foot in their home. Neither did I. Nor did I like their response, which was to swarm around me as if I did it on purpose! Naturally, I was stung many times (I don't recall exactly how many, but around 10). So, yeah, I FREAKED OUT!
Thank goodness I didn't have an allergic reaction, and some calamine lotion and Tylenol helped me recover pretty quickly, though I seem to recall being pretty miserable for a while. It was pretty traumatic.
So, yes, bees still freak me out. I guess it scarred me for life. I've just accepted it. I try not to over react when I am confronted by one, especially in public, but they always seem to catch me off guard. I especially hate it when I'm warily pruning the rose bushes in my front yard and a bee appears; I can't help jumping a little, and it always seems to happen at exactly the moment that one my neighbors drives by. They probably think I'm crazy. I guess I am.... just a little.
My mother claims she does not remember this happening (I certainly wish I didn't!), or thinks it happened to one of my siblings instead, but I guess I shouldn't blame her.... she had 11 children to worry about.
So, if you are ever talking to me outdoors and I suddenly jump and wave my arms around, please don't laugh or make fun of me. I probably just heard a buzz in my ear as a bee flew right in my face... in broad daylight.