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Africa Inland Mission
March 28, 2017 2:56 am
Published in: Family Life

How should I tell this story? The thought of African “Killer” bees provokes a lot of fear to everyone. There is so much background and supporting detail to this story that leads up to the “bombers”. Anyway, here goes – with some added particulars for clarity.
This, I understand, is what happened. On the mission station where we lived there was a missionary who had a kerosene refrigerator. (So did we, but that is not the point.) This missionary was very meticulous when it came to cleaning her fridge. After emptying it of everything, she had it carried outside and put in the shade of a tree while it was thoroughly cleaned. While it was drying, the kerosene tank was drained and the kerosene emptied into a container (of course spilling some in the process!) and the exhaust/flue pipe up the back cleaned of all built-up soot deposits. Of course those kerosene soot deposits fell on the ground, but who cares?
Which now comes to the next detail. Bees from an undetected nearby hive went crazy that day over the smell of kerosene. They swarmed down to the now empty tank, swarmed around the kerosene which had spilled on the ground and swarmed all over the ground where the soot had been dropped. The whole area was a-buzz with swarming bees which buzzed around in their crazy furor.
Which now brings a crucial detail. The “refrigerator cleaning” had been done just beside the only path which led to that missionary’s house.
Yes, you know where I am going. Carol had to go down to that missionary’s house for some reason or other. The bees allowed her through and she finished her business there. But the return trip was something else. Their “kerosene fury” was now directed at her.
With a shout, she started running for home, all the time slapping the bees that followed her. Her long hair proved to be a trap, entangling many bees which then found her scalp “sting-able”. I saw her running up to our house and she collapsed on the front steps. With quick hands I started slapping her head, killing the bees and pulling their dead bodies out of the tangled mess.
Fortunately, the stings hadn’t done too much to her. She was a trooper and that was the first time – and the last – I had to slap her around the head!

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