Ithaca Blog

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Don't Drink Bees

One of the potential hazards of summer, we realized yesterday, is bee drinking.

We were sitting on the Commons with a visitor from Japan, here to study Ithaca Hours. I had coffee. He had a bottle of Reed's Ginger Ale.

After 45 minutes of nice talk, I went back to work in Small World Music, in the basement of Autumn Leaves Books.

All of a sudden, our guest comes running into the building. He had chugged down the corner of his soda, for a stinging sensation stronger than his prior sips. He spit out a mouthful of bees which had apparently descended into his soda bottle while we talked.

He wasn't sure if he had swallowed any. But the ones that had stung his tongue and mouth roof were bad enough, at the moment.

He said he didn't know if he was allergic to bee stings. He had never even been bitten by a Japanese bee.

So I called 911, and they sent all the trappings of an emergency, including a hook and ladder. Apparently this is standard, in case you get so crazy by your bee stings that you set a fire, or jump off a roof.

Anyhow, the emergency professionals were very nice, comforting, and competent. They took our visitor to the emergency room, in case he reacted badly.

We figure, for our part, we can pass along a warning for something we never even thought about before. Let summer be days of soda and pretzels and beer. Not bees.

(By the way, our visitor is fine. As he got into the ambulance, I gave him my card, with home phone, and told him to call if he needed help with anything. He called that night to say he was okay. In halting English, but very sweet, he said his name, and left a message saying, "Maybe you remember me, by, bees in the mouth. I am getting better. Thank you for helping me.")

Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog

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