I spent 15 minutes rescuing a honey bee from a glass. Well, actually I felt a bit responsible as its wing was stuck in dried wine at the bottom of a glass. I am the one who drank the wine and left the glass in front of an open window.  I am acutely aware that honeybees are endangered which would be a detriment to our ecosystem.  Ironically, I am highly allergic to bees.

I desperately wanted to save the bee yet was afraid of getting stung. At first, I asked my partner to do it. Gratefully he said “no” and offered a suggestion of gently putting water down the side of the glass. The bee was still stuck after many attempts. I worried the weight of gravity will force him out too quickly and break his body away from its wing. As I saw its leg flailing in distress, I thought what would calm the bee. What does it do best that would make it feel at ease? A flower! I hung the glass over a flower as the bee went to work and in seconds it was free to be.

Symbolically, my name means “bee” and as I mentioned already, I am highly allergic to bees. I was stung on my finger hanging from my monkey bars when I was seven. When the pain stopped, my mom saw my arm swelling up to my neck. I don’t remember anything else in that moment. I know I had to get a shot and my arm was still swollen the next day as I put on my school uniform. From then on, I was terrified of bees running, screaming and flailing away from them.

It wasn’t till I went on a rock climbing trip with a group of strangers that I encountered a bee and I could not risk my usual fearful reaction. I was on top of a 30ft boulder as I’d fall off a cliff. I heard it buzzing and saw it heading toward me. My body wanted to jerk and scream yet being in this precarious situation, I told my self to stay still and calm. Everything would be fine and the bee will fly away. I took many deep breaths. What felt like an eternity, it did fly away. That fateful day happened in 1996 and has been an awesome lesson I have worked hard to apply to every fear I am conscious of.

Taking 15 minutes of my day to save the bee felt so empowering to me just like the day on the boulder. It reminded me how patient and mindful one shall be at any given moment. I am glad my partner refused because it gave me this opportunity. Some may think I’m a bit crazy for saving something that could kill me, yet to me, this is one of life’s many paradoxes. I am learning to love mosquitoes next:-)