I Remember....

Karin and the Bees

A quick story about something that happened to me in Israel in 1991.

Once upon a time, I was a student in the Philosophy and Religion department at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. So, not a Cornhusker, we were Mavericks. Back then, costs were not as high as they were today, and I got by on the GI Bill, a Pell Grant, and a part-time job.

The only loan I took out as an undergraduate was when I had the opportunity to go to Israel on an Archaeological dig. We were digging in place called Bethsaida. And we were, if I’m remembering correctly, the third team to go. So not much had been uncovered. It was pretty much a couple of holes in the ground. Look at it now!

“File:Tel Bethsaida (3).jpg” by Hanay is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

But the dig itself isn’t the core of this story. No, this is a story about being a chocoholic and about the bees of Israel.

My name is Karin, and I’m a chocoholic. My mother was a chocoholic. My paternal grandmother was a chocoholic. It’s in my genes. I looooovvveee chocolate. Now I stick with high percentage dark chocolate because too much sugar gives me headaches.

But back then, I was just wild with chocolate. It could have been worse. It could have been heroin. Or cocaine. (although part of me wonders if chocolate isn’t actually cocaine on some level) I especially love those chocolate stars or the chocolate kisses. I know that the Hershey Bars are the same chocolate but there’s just something about starts and kisses. Even though I try to stick with dark chocolate, kisses do seduce me sometimes. Maybe I just need to find a man…

In the U.S. we have a problem. We eat like shit. All that processed food. And we are addicted to sugar. This isn’t true in many other countries. A piece of, really good chocolate is a treat. It’s not a daily, or hourly occurrence.

Anyhoo, The Chocoholic Karin packed up and ran off to Israel. In the summer. In all that heat. And yes, with those damn bees.

We get to the Kibbutz Gadot on Friday and I figure out where the little store is right away. I gotta have my snacks you know.  Here is the housing at Kibbutz Gadot. If you want to vacation there it really is a lovely spot:

When I was there, you could stay for free, if you worked in the orchard in the morning. Lots of people loved to do that!

Monday morning, at 5am, we were on-site at the dig. It was so hot we could only work until 1pm.

Once it started getting really hot, the mayhem started.

There I am, minding my own business, digging in my hole, when suddenly a bee shows up. I stand perfectly still and let the bee check me out. Which it does, thoroughly, and then flies away.

5 minutes later I’m swarmed with bees, all checking me out. They were trying so hard to figure me out.

It’s the damn chocolate! And all that sugar! It was coming out my pores! Those bees had never seen anything like me before, I guess, and were trying to figure out how to get all of the sickly-sweet yumminess out of me.

Once they determined there was nothing they could get at the Karin’s all-you-can-eat sugar bar, they left.

About an hour later, a bee showed up. The same one? Who knows! And it checked me out and left again.

5 minutes later I’m swarmed by bees again.

Apparently, bees don’t have any short-term memory.

This went on, off and on, the whole three weeks I was at the dig. It got to be a joke. The other students would see me standing perfectly still and say “Here we go again!”

So, what’s the moral here?


Yeah, like that’s going to happen.

I guess the real takeaway is that if I, or anyone, is going to go somewhere like Israel. Get off the chocolate and sugar before you go! And stay off it. At least a month. Maybe even do a cleanse or something.

They never stung me, I’ll give them that. But you know, maybe I would have actually found something cool at that dig if they would have left me in peace. Every time I see a bee, well, I guess in the end it brings back fond memories.