The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Greetings to everyone in western Illinois,
I'm a hope'n everyone enjoyed the fair weather we had last week and made good use of the opportunity to accomplish some outdoor chores.
The fellers that merchandise home heat'n oil, natural gas, and propane gas are a find'n sales off from earlier expectations when the winter was be'n predicted to be harsh. One persons lose is another persons gain.
The boys and I were reminisce'n over new years weekend about things that happened years ago in our younger days.
Eventually, we shared stories about our experiences with bees, wasps, and hornets. Most of the stories were humorous, now, as we reflected back on them, but not so funny at the time.
One lesson learned the hard way was that it is not wise to open the lid of the twine box on the old binder that's been sitt'in in the weeds fer years in the old woodlot. It's especially important if'n it's in the heat of the summer and you have no shirt on. There may be a nest of bees or wasps in there not want'n to be disturbed.
Another lesson learned is that you don't run uphill when you are being hammered by bees that just had their nest disturbed. Downhill is faster-after you've opened that binder box lid. It's even better if'n you can outrun your friend, especially if'n he was the one encourage'n you to open the lid to "see what's in there".
Little wet mud balls help the sting'n sensation some, especially, it would seem, if'n it's your slow runn'n friend who mostly got stung. The other fellers pain was your gain!
We remembered one summer we decided to trim up the pasture for a neighborhood softball game. Dried out "cow pies" were used for bases and the pitchers mound. It would be much easier to run the bases, and for that matter find em, if'n the overgrown grasses and some thistles were trimmed back a bit.
Rotary mowers had not been invented yet but, we did have the use of one of our fathers number 5 John Deere cycle mower mounted on an old John Deere model "A" tractor.
Wouldn't ya know it but further along in the process the mower disturbed a Bumble Bee nest. They can sting as hard and fast as anything I knows of.
The feller runn'n the tractor, after get'n stung many times, simply jumped over the rear tire to the left and ran like crazy. Swatt'n in the air the whole time.
The problem was he didn't bother to pull the clutch back on the tractor before he leaped from it and it kept on go'n and a mowin.
It was kinda cute but worrisome at the same time, watch'n that machine kinda go'n in circles without a driver and a swarm of bumble bees hover'n around the empty seat. Observe'n from a safe distance, of course.
It kinda circled that pasture quite a while until it circled far enough away form those bees nest to give the outfit some attention.
One of the braver boys, who had a shirt and hat on, finally leaped on the tractor and shut er down. Not OSHA approved today I'm sure.
Another bee incident took place when a hive of honey bees developed a mean Queen, such that you could not get within 50 yards or they'd be out to sting ya. She controls the colonies demeanor.
The open'n to the hive was blocked off one night so that come daylight the hive could be moved to a safer place at the back end of the farm, away from human population. The plan was once moved the hive was back there and the queen could be replaced with a friendlier one.
Jasper Jinx's brother and wife Hylda was down visit'in on his slick Harley motorcycle. He reluctantly agreed to help lift the hive for the move. Both Jasper and his brother was properly dressed with head cover'ns and coveralls just in case a few bees escaped. Jasper assured his brother it would be a simple quick painless task.
As they lifted the hive up, one man on each side, the bottom fell off. A large number of bees went to the ground and all around their feet and up their pant legs. A bee colony contains from 40,000 to 75,000 bees. Not all can sting, but a fair amount will. It sure enough seemed all of that number was on the ground a try'n to crawl up the boys's pant legs.
Jasper's wife, Gertrude, along with his brothers wife, Hylda, to help their husbands out, ran to the house to fetch a can of Raid and thru it to the boys. That seemed to rile up the bees even more and chasen after the women folk a large number of bees went, a gett'n in their hair and elsewhere, as those gals were totally unprepared for a "bee war".
Into the house the wives ran with the bee's chasen after them all the way the women folks dresses and hair a flow'n behind them follered by a stream of bees even right into the house with the women.
Jasper's long haired farm dog came over to see what all the excitement was. Them bees went after him like slime on a frog pond. It was quite a site fer the dog fought back by biten in the air at the bees and where ever they was a sting'n. A more frantic sight ya never saw.
The dog snapp'n rapidly in the air and Jasper with his brother a do'n the china man's polka dance with the bees sting'n further up the legs inside the coveralls and inside the nett'n around their heads.
The only hope, they figured, was to leap onto that motorcycle and race pall mall down the road away from the bundle of poison filled winged creatures.
Some bees stayed with them for a spell but after they poured the coals to that machine, once on the road, they were able to leave them critters behind, except fer what was inside their clothing.
After they got down the road one-half mile they slowed her down to a slight roll and both leaped off together allow'n the bike to coast to the ditch.
Immediately they stripped off ever stitch of cloth'n they had on, include'n the bee nett'n that was hold'n them bees near their heads. There they stood, in their birthday suits on a lonely country road swatt'n what bees was left, naked as a jay bird. Honey bees die after they once sting ya so only a few remained alive at this time.
Unfortunately, unnoticed by them, an older nearby neighbor came upon the isolated scene. There they was a swing'n at the air with no clothes on, in all their "Glory".
That neighbor had an unusual characteristic habit of blink'n with both eyes at the same time whenever he blinked and was excited.
As he slowly drove by them naked air swatt'n gents gave them boys three long extended blinks along with a puzzled look, but never stopped and never looked back. He stepped on the gas peddle once he was safely by "the horror scene"!
To his dy'n day that neighbor never brought the subject up to Jasper. In fact, it seemed, from that day forward, he always traveled another road to town!
Jasper's wife, and his brothers wife, Hylda, finished off the bees yet in the house, with fly swatters. The sister-in-law was taken to the emergency room for counter active shots against the multiple bee stings. She was not very pleased to say the least.
Jasper, well he was in the dog house fer more than a few days over the whole affair!
Jaspers sez the moral of the story is - "let someone else produce the honey. That's the naked truth of the matter!"
Keep on Smile'n
Catch ya later