Bee on a Plane
How'd that get there?
Note: This the first of several stories with a similar theme but from different perspectives.
It was no longer a rumor: a bee was in the jet way buzzing travelers. The passengers were swatting it away even though the bee had moved on to other people. Still, the boarders searched in vain for the little critter but now it was no longer to be found.
That is, until the flight attendants noticed it as they stood at the front to greet passengers boarding.
Toby Rittner swatted once more as a show of solidarity, but he was more annoyed at the passengers than he was at the bee. He knew very well that it was a harmless honeybee. Sure, it could sting but after that it died and was no longer a threat to anyone at all, unless of course the stung individual was allergic to bee stings.
Toby got to his seat and carefully stowed his carryon. He was going through all the scenarios in his mind about the bee. He knew it wasn’t a yellow jacket or hornet as the other paranoid passengers were hyperventilating over. Bittner was sure he put all the bees to sleep before placing them into his luggage. He had done this once before and nobody questioned his methodology. With the type of smoke he used, the bees would be in a state of peaceful bliss for at least four hours.
Or so he thought.
The wave of commotion indicated the bee was still buzzing around. He put on one of his working gloves and was ready to snatch it from the air if it came close. With 17 years of beekeeping experience under his belt and an active membership in the state beekeeping association, he was adroit at snatching an errant bee in midair as he had done countless times in the past.
He rose as the bee approached and finally after all the passengers had leaned away from it, he grabbed it with his gloved hand.
The ooos and ahhhs from nearby passengers resulting in a round of applause, though some started to question his carrying such a thick glove with him. He still hadn’t opened his glove to reveal his catch, and he was praying it wasn’t the Queen.
As he dropped into his seat, he looked down at the dead bee in his gloved hand. Thankfully, it wasn’t the Queen.
But unfortunately, it wasn’t one of the drone bees either. To his knowledge, he had never been bitten by a wasp before, but there it was in his hand. His honeybees were safe in his luggage but the creature in his hand was something he avoided because even the most experienced beekeepers have fears too.
Had he known it was a wasp, he would’ve been the first to deplane.