Thai Culture: The Big Black Bee Observation

Thai culture: The big black bee observation
Standing at flag ceremony this morning at a Thai government high school I noticed something.

People in America – all people, big or small, act a certain way when a LARGE buzzing creature flies in front of them and very close to them. Doesn’t matter if that buzzing thing is low or high – people flip out. It’s a national phenomenon.

Americans have all been stung by bees, wasps, hornets, and other bugs. We have learned through this process that loud, large buzzing things HURT when they sting you. We avoid them in any way possible. We are exaggerated in our attempt to get AWAY from some big thing flying in our face.

This morning at flag we’re standing there. I stand in back of the students and they are all facing forward like me, toward the flag and the football field. I see this HUGE black bee with a yellow spot on it. This thing was as big as a very large grape. I could hear the buzzing though it was 3 meters and more from me as it went buzzing between the students, weaving in and out of them… sometimes at face level, other times at chest or waist level.

What I noticed then was a difference in culture… beliefs. The Thai kids DID NOT MOVE AT ALL. Not ONE of them. This bee must have made it’s self known to 20 or more kids – and not one of them moved or even seemed to NOTICE. Nobody said anything. Nobody screamed. Nobody moved. Nobody reacted in any way.

What is that? Has anyone else seen this? For me – I FLIP OUT. I’m a grown man, but I still don’t want to be stung by something. I’ve already written a post about being stung many times by a large black hornet or wasp type thing while riding the motorbike. This bee was over twice as large as that one that was in my pants. And I would be jumping out of the way and warning everyone – BEE! BEE! That’s what we do in the states…

Why not here?

Here’s a video of the type of bee that was flying around – this is a video of one in my house, though this one is blackish purple without the yellow spot. The one this morning was a bit smaller and had the yellow spot. No less scary.

Would you schiz out or ignore it? If you’re really Thai I think you’d ignore it. I need to ask some people about why they don’t move out of the way at least…

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Author: Vern

I'm an American expat living in Thailand. I like to write informative pieces about life in, living in Thailand, including topics like: Thai People, Thai Culture, Nightlife, Technology, and I have published a lot of photographs, videos, and even books on Thailand that you can find at ThailandeBooks.com. There are many photographs of Thailand here - feel free to share with attribution (a link back to the home page). All written content on this site by Vern Lovic. Contact me at Google+.

3 thoughts on “Thai Culture: The Big Black Bee Observation”

  1. i got stung by one of these when i was just 13yrs old in Corat Thailand on my grandmothers farm. i though i was honestly going to die until my grandmom, mom, and the village neighbors came over and made an antidote out of leaves, balm, and other oils-i really do not know because i was too busy freakin out like 13yr old boys do, but it worked. i was stung on my left middle finger while picking up a piece of bamboo not more than 2 feet long with holes in it like a flute. no less than 3 seconds after picking up the bamboo i was stung- didnt know what happened until 4 big black bees flew out the bamboo after i dropped it on the ground. those things are loud almost like they have a freakin motor on their back.those things are wicked. my middle finger swole up to 3 times the normal size until the homemade balm controlled it. a memory ill never forget…

  2. Hi Vern,
    I come to Thailand often from London – mostly to Phuket as I have a villa here or Bangkok.
    I saw the black bee hovering around last week and freaked out!! It was really big and had a shiny look to it! Yesterday again at the beach, I saw one hovering nearby and I freaked out in a group of 15 people, they all found it normal and one was trying to slap it away!!

    I really do hope their not poisonous as they make my skin crawl!!

    Gully

    1. I have a video about them – and some commenters said they are carpenter bees – they eat wood and don’t have stingers. Guess I believe them, but I’m not going to hold one to find out. Link to ->> Big Bee video ->

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