That was my last close encounter with a bee and it seems doubtful that I'm cut out to be a beekeeper. But I recently read Fruitless Fall*, a beautiful, troubling book about the mysterious decline in the honeybee population and it inspired me to sign up for a free amateur beekeeping seminar. That's today. I like the idea of of playing some tiny role in helping the bees and I like the idea of suburban hives. Good for the bees, good for the fruit trees, good for honey. Plus, the Obamas are doing it.
But liking the idea of something is very different from liking the thing itself, and I remain extremely wary of Apis mellifera. There's the swarming, the tiny, vibrating, hairy bodies, the stinging. I'm going to try to see the beauty and the mystery and master my fear, become an Earth Mother and wipe the knowing smirks of my parents' faces. I'm giving it my all. Will report back.
*highly recommend even if you don't think you're interested in bees as it is incredibly well written and you will soon realize that you are actually very interested in bees.