I am absolutely terrified of bees.  This fear has morphed into a phobia of all stinging insects.  My aversion to these bugs is not completely unfounded.  It hurts like heck if stung, and I have been known to have severe allergic reactions periodically throughout  my life when stung.  Three times in my life I developed hives and swelling after being stabbed by one these flying horrors.  For several years I carried a kit around with me on the off-chance I unsuccessfully ran away from them.  I am one of those people.  I flail about screaming or run away in terror when I come across a bee, hornet, or wasp.

Surprisingly, several years ago now, I got it in my head to pursue a degree in horticulture.   My love of plants momentarily overcame my fear of bees.  I attempted to gain some measure of control over my anxiety of these bugs, and for short stints I could stand still when they were buzzing inquisitively around me.  The problem was my heart would start beating rapidly; I could feel a cold sweat beginning around my face and neck; and I would start panting – fighting the urge to flee.  It was a panic attack waiting to happen.  It finally culminated one afternoon when I chanced upon a hornets nest.  I was unable to be casual about the situation.  I did try though, only to eventually freak out so severely I was nearly crying (or maybe I was crying, I plead the 5th).

I hate that I have this fear.  I really do.  Those that are close to me look on with amusement as I run screaming, giving me helpful advice such as “Don’t run”, ” Stop moving”, and “The bee is more scared of you, than you are of it.”  Apparently I have Apiphobia, which is the technical term for a fear of bees, although I seem to also suffer from Spheksophobi which is a fear of wasps.  According to http://www.fearofstuff.com I need to gain a more solid understanding of the role bees play in our environment.  Okay, I’m willing to try again.

I’ve decided I’m going to attend an event called “Amazing Honeybees” (http://meijergardens.wordpress.com/2011/07/06/michigans-farm-garden-is-buzzing-with-fun-this-weekend/).  I am hoping that not only can I give myself enough knowledge to develop a fascination for bees, but also help alleviate some early symptoms my children are showing of Apiphobia.  I don’t know if this will help necessarily, I’ve already considered sending my children out into the wild as I watch from an enclosure nearby.   At the very least, I am making some strides to better myself.  I’m just hoping there will be a clear path in the event I do feel the need to run – I’ll just make sure to wear good shoes.