Those Big Black Flying Bees That Don’t Sting

These monstrous bees don't seem to bite or sting...
These monstrous bees don't seem to bite or sting...

These things are big and they make a noise like a humming bird as they fly by, prompting foreigners to duck and find some cover.

Thais say these things don’t bite… I guess that’s true because I’m holding this one in my hand. Proof enough? I assure you I was ready to fling this thing across the room at a wall at the first sign of pain.

I have a video of one terrorizing us (me) by flying around our place a couple years back.

Here’s the YouTube video:

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…


Thailand’s Geckos, Spiders, Bees, and Dragonflies… oh, and my Underwear

Thailand's wildlife. My jockeys.
Man, there are more things flying in my house than you would believe. Back in the states if you leave your windows and doors open you might get something flying in to see what your house is all about…

A bee. Some horseflies for sure.

Here from 7 am until almost 6pm – if we’re home and I’m writing blogs all day at the dining room table – there are so many things flying in the doors and windows and running around in the house that it’s never dull. I try to get video on my little digital camera of some of the stuff. But yesterday was an insane day. I worked all day but just in the time that I WAS at home we had:

A big spider jump out of my slippers when I went to put them on to go outside to use the toilet.

Spider video >

A tiny gecko running around the stairs.

Gecko video >

A dragonfly that couldn’t find it’s way out…

Dragonfly video >

This is all in one day. In addition, we have had the following in the house…

A large 3 inch leg span mosquito (video too dark – sorry)

The coolest beetle – that you saw a picture of the other day – 2 days ago I put some pics up here. That orange and green beetle flies in here a couple times a month.

The biggest bee I’ve ever seen.

Bee video >

Millipedes, centipedes, jumping spiders, termites living under the floorboards and in the walls, big snails with shells, large black wasp type things – a huge body – over an inch long. More like 1.75 inches long. These things can sting repeatedly. I had the unfortunate luck one time of having one fly up my shorts as I was riding the motorbike in Isaan…

My g/f was on the back. I had big floppy shorts on – with leg-holes too wide to be riding the motorbike. I never had anything fly up so I was ignorant to the danger. We’re going about 105km per hour (almost 70 mph) and I feel a sting on my UPPER upper thigh. It is more like a pinch. But, I realize quickly that nothing should be stinging there – and it COULD be an insect that got stuck up there since my shorts are basically like an insect net flying through the highway at 105 catching anything that happens to be in the path.

I then feel a series of stings – that makes me get smart and KNOW I’ve got something in my pants and close to my “stuff” that COULD get my “stuff” if it got any closer – and, the stings were moving in that direction – towards the center of my crotch.

I’m a bikini man. I have worn the jockey bikini undies for 22 years. I like the snugness. Call me crazy. I’m not wearing them to be sexy – in fact, most girls wonder WHY i’m wearing speedo underwear. Anyway – so – I think my crotch is covered pretty well – but still something could sting me THROUGH the jockeys. Considering some of my underwear are 6 years old and are holy – (my g/f has taken to mending them) see mended jockeys at top of page ^

Holy jockeys and things that sting COULD make for a misadventure that was not what I set out for that morning.

I SLAM ON THE BRAKES – the right one harder than the left. My motorbike has DISC brakes that stop me quickly. TOO quickly. The front end dips hard and my g/f is pushing on me at about 70km per hour and my body is slowing her down to the same rate as the rapid decceleration of the motorbike.

My arms are buckling from the stress of both of our body’s weight!

One arm can’t take it and slips off the grip, or maybe I pulled it off and frantically beat my groin with it in hopes of killing whatever was in my pants… no matter, when we finally stopped and I damn near dropped the bike on the ground without getting the kickstand down properly – I was still flailing my left hand at my groin and uttering strange squeals. My g/f must have thought I completely lost it when I then ran down the embankment pulling off my shorts all in one movement and, seeing this nearly 2 inch long black wasp in my shorts – so close to my “stuff” – I FLIPPED OUT COMPLETELY

I was running around naked through the grass – and cars were flying by with their faces pressed up to the glass.

In Isaan on the country highways there aren’t many foreigners at all. In TOWN I didn’t see but one per day on average. Here on the highway – nobody would be expecting to see a naked foreigner running next to the highway.

There I was though, shaking my shorts and screaming like a nut… for everyone on the highway to see… kids, and grandparents…. everyone.

So – after I had beat myself about the groin crazily to make sure the wasp had flown away from my “stuff” I stood there naked for a second and realized that everyone just saw me naked.

Strange feeling.

So – I put on undies and shorts and checked my groin. 7 stings – none hitting the “mark”, but closer than they should have been.

I got smart that day.

So – when stuff flies in my house here in Thailand – I’m not all that sure – does it bite… ? There’s some weird stuff around here – poisonous frogs, lots of poisonous snakes – cobras that SPIT venom a couple meters… it’s a different world here.

So – in my videos you might see me tentative about picking up a dragonfly… or a gecko… or something else…. I’m really cautious about all kinds of things. I don’t LIKE to get bit. I don’t LIKE to get poison from a frog on my hands. Or venom in my eyes. Or bees in my shorts. I just don’t LIKE it. I am smarter than that. If I look like a wus on the video -OK. I can live with that.