What a little cutie. I’m referring to the Australian blue-banded bee. They’re always so welcome in our garden. However, to my horror, I discovered that they have a ferocious bite, especially when it latches on to the delicate skin between your toes. Unlike European bees, our native blue banded bees don’t die after they sting. Technically they don’t sting – they bite, and they can bite multiple times. Honestly, I thought I must have been bitten by a redback spider. It bloody hurt. Not that I have ever been bitten by a redback. I’ve been bitten by a young funnel web spider. Apparently funnel webs are less venomous when they are young, but don’t quote me on that. That bite wasn’t nearly as painful.
Anyway, it must have been horrifying for the little bee as well, finding itself lodged between the toes of some great lump. I ignored the initial discomfort at first but then it started to hurt like hell. I kicked off my sandal to investigate and saw something tumble into the grass. As I hunched down to try to ID it, on the off-chance I might have to call an ambulance, it rose before my eyes from the grass like a chopper from a James Bond movie, buzzing angrily in astonishment. “How dare you!”, it seemed to say. I am pretty deaf but that buzz rang loudly in my ears. No mistaking the message. Poor thing. I was so sorry for it and also very sorry for myself.
I still love them.
Tread carefully, everyone.