Few things terrify me. I would consider myself nearly fearless. Yup, fearless. However, for some reason, while simultaneously fascinating me, bees, hornets, and wasps absolutely terrify me.

I've never studied hornets or wasps, so perhaps they aren't as incredible as bees, but I took an entomology course at UMass a few years ago and studied bees in a good amount of depth. They are unbelievable. Why are they unbelievable, you ask? For so many reasons. SO MANY. Here are a few:

  • When a bee finds a source of nectar, it flies back to the hive and does a specific dance to alert the others to both the presence of the nectar and how to navigate to its location. I believe the dance is called a "waggle dance." I've seen it on video. Yeah, wow.
  • Bees do a second dance for another reason, which I can't remember anything about. Also amazing, though!
  • Bees make their way around outside the hive, both distance- and location-wise based on the location of the sun. They keep track of the sun's location in respect of their hives.
  • Bees are supposedly gentle, but since I always run away from them at first sight, I've never actually had the chance to test this.
  • And so many more reasons. These four are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head.
So, now you may be asking, why am I terrified of bees? I have no idea. I was stung when I was little, but that didn't cause any trauma, just a little pain. I will never forget, however, looking down at my calf and seeing a bee standing on my leg ready to pierce me with its stinger, then while it was stinging me, running away screaming and crying. Maybe that's why I'm so scared of them now? Who knows.

Anyway, I don't have nightmares, either... except about bees. I've had reoccurring nightmares throughout [nearly] my entire life, where I was holding a bee between my pointer finger and my thumb, feeling its tiny hairs and its buzzing, and knowing that if I let the bee go, it'll kill me... or at least sting me really badly. Normally at a point before I let bee go, I would wake up in a cold sweat...

Bees. Hornets. Wasps. Maybe it has something to do with the mix of yellow and black because I am not scared of beetles, ants, or any other insect. I did once see a European paper wasp. That was scary. Luckily, I was able to kill it with bleach and a tennis racquet before it killed me.

After telling a friend about my fear, he alerted to me to the existence of the Giant Japanese Hornet. It makes me want to cry, but I can't stop thinking about it.

Oh man, these Giant Japanese Hornets are scary. I am glad those don't live around here, otherwise I would move, or at least I would buy a bubble and live in it. I would become a bubble boy just to get away from these hornets. I bet they could sting right through the bubble, so it would have to a high-tech bubble. Still, the point is the same: I will probably become a bubble boy at some point in my life.

After writing most of this post and searching for a pictures of bees, wasps, and hornets, I've come to realize that I am more scared of wasps than any other insect. How was I able to discover which insect I feared most? The answer to this question, a question that I've been asking myself for many years, has eluded me until now, when I viewed pictures, side by side, of the insects which I fear. The wasp definitely made me cringe the most, thereby winning the title of scariest thing alive.

The moral of the story? Do not become obsessed with, study, or love that which you fear, or else you will become a bubble-person.

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  1. Anonymous // January 15, 2009 at 6:56 PM  

    i am so terrified of bees, too! i am allergic, though. i've got to carry an epi-pen with me wherever i go because of it!