The Sweat Bee

The Sweat Bee by Charlie O'Shields

So I decided to doodlewash something potentially creepy again. This time I tried to capture the likeness of Philippe’s arch nemesis. We’ve enjoyed slightly warmer weather lately and have been able to sit on our terrace at dinner. Unfortunately, we are continually joined by an unwanted dinner guest in the form of an insidiously persistent sweat bee.

The humorous part is that it’s usually just a single bee, though I know it’s likely always a different one, so it seems truly like being visited by the same one. Without fail, we’ll be sitting down to eat outside and Philippe will suddenly jump up from the table and spin around in a circle waving his arms. The evil sweat bee has returned to attempt to ruin another calm and relaxing evening.

When the sweat bee first showed up to dinner, Philippe would began by politely shooing it away with his hands as you might anyone who showed up to dinner uninvited. This seemed to work for awhile, but then the bee would return shortly after as though he thought he may have misread the signs and the shooing meant, “Why yes, that chair right… over… there! We’ve been saving it for you!”

Things took an ugly turn for Philippe and the guest-that-wouldn’t-leave when the sweat bee’s cousin had shown up drunk on sweat and “nearly” died on the deck. Phineas ended up stepping on it with his paw and got stung which caused him to limp for the next few hours. Seeing his baby in pain was the final straw for Philippe and the politeness immediately ceased. It was time for this villainous sweat bee to go away… permanently.

The battle began first with an Eco-friendly and, of course, dog-friendly spray. When the evil sweat bee would arrive, one of us was meant to quickly grab the bottle, while the other shielded the wine, and spray the beast. It was all so dramatic that in my haste to try it the first time I had the cap backwards and ended up spraying myself in the face. Philippe returned with, “OH! C’est pas vrai!” which translates to many things including “No way!”, “I don’t believe it!”, and, in this instance, “I can’t believe I married this idiot!”

The spray did nothing to deter the sweat bee who seemed to enjoy the fragrance, so it was time to up the ante. Philippe ran to the basement and came back with a little spray bottle I once bought for watercolor because I thought I might use it one day. He filled it with white vinegar and rushed back outside holding it like an undercover pocket pistol.

When the bee visited he spun around in circles spraying vinegar everywhere before stopping to ask, “Did I get it?” As the bee, completely unharmed, buzzed by my face I said, “No, but you did manage to douche the deck.” We sat back down to the smell of strong vinegar in our noses, and although the bee didn’t return, it was a shallow victory because everything we ate or drank now tasted like salad.

The evil sweat bee hasn’t returned since that incident so I think the smell was equally offensive to him. Either that, or he flew off to another outdoor dinner party where the hosts were more accommodating, actually invited friends over, and were not so weirdly violent.

Perhaps the bee is also somewhere nicer and he can now be found sitting by a luxurious pool sipping on a sweaty cocktail. He’s finishing his last sip and immediately getting angry with a pool boy who’s slow with his next drink, holding up his tiny little fists and shouting to the sun, “OH! C’est pas vrai!”

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. kirkistan 7 years ago

    Great/scary/ugly bee. But wonderful story. It reads like a comedy routine.

    • Author

      Yeah it’s pretty scary this one! Hehe… glad you liked the story. When I showed Philippe the doodlewash he said, “yeah, it looks like that…but we hate them.”

  2. Jacob 7 years ago

    He looks angry and a little terrifying with the glare – and that yellow is wasp-dangerous! – but fascinating with the level of detail. Brilliant job as ever, Charlie! Such a hilarious story bar, of course, poor Phineas getting stung – oh no!! I too would have doused the entire neighbourhood in vinegar in that scenario. We had a dog before I was born who apparently tried to eat a bumblebee, and it stung inside his mouth. Doesn’t bear thinking about!

    I’d take a bee over a wasp any day, though – I get lots of those pestering around here. They are truly the definition of evil.

    • Author

      Oh no!! Philippe is constantly worried Phineas will eat a bee because he always tries to nip them in his teeth. (Phineas…not Philippe) They swell up! Ugh! Yeah…bees are definitely preferred over wasps…wasps ARE pure evil! Glad you liked the doodlewash!!! Hehe 😃😃

  3. Jodi 7 years ago

    OMG – seriously laughing out loud! you are too much Charlie O!!! and that bee – crazy wild details! AMAZING! You are a one and only Charlie O! Even if you do spray yourself and cause French “cussing” from hubby! 🙂

    • Author

      Awww thanks Jodi!! ❤️😃Admittedly his French “cussing” is fairly tame. Unless he’s driving… Then he says things I simply won’t ever translate. Or we’re at Costco when it gets crowded. 😳

  4. amaryllislog 7 years ago

    Oh my, thanks for that animated film playing through my head! So amusing. Your sketch is awesome! No sweat bees for me please…no.

    • Author

      Haha! Thanks Cathe! ❤️😃 I always thought if there was a film of our life it would need to be animated! 😉👍🏻

  5. Damita M-S 7 years ago

    😂😂😂😂 I love your stories. Secondly, your sweat bee has so much detail it is very nice. Thanks for the laugh and the story of the sweat bee. Btw hope your face and eyes are okay!

    • Author

      Thanks! 😃❤️And I was thankfully wearing glasses when it happened. I’m a bit clumsy so when there’s wine involved, I usually switch to glasses. Now forever deemed “safety glasses.” Glad you liked the doodlewash and the story friend! 😃

  6. Catherine Johnson 7 years ago

    Great story (though not for the dog) and great bee painting.

    • Author

      Yeah…Phineas didn’t fair well in this one. 🐶😳 But his doting daddy gave him an extra treat that night so all was well. And knowing the dog, he could has easily been faking it. He’s rather clever. 😉

  7. Jill Kuhn 7 years ago

    Charlie! You need a insect zapper! It looks like a small tennis racket and is battery powered. When the bee comes in contact with the screen, it kills it with a small shock. 😳 Enjoyed your humorous story and your bee looks swarmingly grand! hehe! 🐝🎨🐝

    • Author

      Thanks Jill!!! ❤️😃 And yes!! Philippe said the same thing!! We used one of those she we were visiting a friend. I think he didn’t opt for one right away because he’s such a nature lover. But when one goes after your dog… it’s war!! 😉😳

  8. Marcus 7 years ago

    Don’t know which I enjoy most – the story or the picture. Yes I do … the story. I do not like bees of any sort. And that is an understatement.

  9. Sharon Mann 7 years ago

    Lol, what a good laugh I just had. I think you can cross bug exterminator off your career list. I think your bee is beautiful!

  10. artandmoondreams 7 years ago

    Great painting (though it did resurrect a few scary childhood memories…which I have not thought of until now….’oh! the trauma!’ /giggle) and as always, adore your story telling…you are so gifted with imagery. Thank you for sharing a delightful tale.

    • Author

      Thanks so much!! ❤️😃That’s so sweet of you to say. But sorry for the nightmares I may have caused!! 😳😊😊 Bees can be so evil!!

      • artandmoondreams 7 years ago

        Honey bees i don’t mind, but I had never encountered such an aggressive creature as the Sweat Bee before… it was scary and it stung! I can laugh now, but it made my first summer visit to see cousins quite memorable. ;D

  11. Carmel Campbell 7 years ago

    Enjoys your stories. This little guy is super cool!

  12. Wren 7 years ago

    Fabulous doodlewash, Charlie–and what a hilarious story! I could just see it! I hope the sweat bees in your garden are preparing to have a nice, long sleep now that fall is well underway, and that you and Phillipe will be able to enjoy your deck a little bit longer.
    Thanks for sharing such a beautiful painting of an unusual subject (I liked the housefly, too!) and for making me smile with your story.

    • Author

      Thanks Leslie!! 😃😃So happy you liked the story and doodlewash! And I don’t think the bees are done yet. One showed up tonight again…apparently the bees don’t have a version of social media or they would know our house is unfriendly to them. Looks like they’re going to wade it out until it freezes. 😎🐝

  13. david g vogel 7 years ago

    Heh heh, wonderful story, Charlie, I’ll never forget it (may re-tell it for my friends, giving credit? LOL ) But oh, the first thing is your sketch of the bee — delighted with the fellow, the colors, and the gesture drawing of start to end; and I hope I can pull one out myself after your inspiration. Terrific!

    • Author

      Wow thanks David!! What a wonderful compliment! 😊😃 And feel free to tell the story… and no credit required, you can even embellish it a bit and change the names. Phineas could become a cat named Constantinople and the bee could become a rare giant, talking vampire mosquito!! Or not… maybe stick to the original as it doesn’t sound plausible that way. I mean, who the hell would name a cat Constantinople.

  14. memadtwo 7 years ago

    The most beautiful and creepy bug yet (K)

  15. kim881 7 years ago

    I nominate you for the Blogger Recognition Award and One Lovely Blog Award. Thank you for introducing me to the world of doodlewash!

    • Author

      That’s so sweet of you!! I tend to break the rules on these awards as I tell something about myself all the time, and I feature people daily…could never just choose 10! But thank you so much for the kind words and support for doodlewash! Have I got you making doodlewashes yet?! 😉😃

  16. In Art Therapy 7 years ago

    LOL! I can see it all happening! I needed a good laugh today so thanks for that. Your sweat bee came out great as does all your doodlewashes!

  17. weisserwatercolours 7 years ago

    ….how creepy, and how delightful….your partner shares my own aversion to bugs in general….my partner, Raul, is Filipino and when still living there (I brought him to Canada in 2007) I was creeped-out by the size of their cockroaches which are literally the size of my thumb. So one year when I arrived, he had bought me my own can of Raid (which I would have refused had I known he was getting it), and we tried it out on one HUGE cockroach, which, when sprayed went into such death throes and paroxysms it outdid Mimi in La Boheme, taking a good 15 minutes to finally croak. That creeped me out even more, so after that I simply looked the other way when I saw one. But…I confess to never having heard of a ‘sweat’ bee. If it is at all like your detailed painting, I wouldn’t even venture outdoors, much less try to have a picnic. Thank you for the entertaining story. I’m glad I’m not alone, and have Philippe to identify with.

    • Author

      Wow!!! That cockroach story is terrifying, Lance! Lol… that would freak me out!! For some reason I’m okay with bugs if they stay smaller than thumb size…. after that they just too big! 😳 As for sweat bees…that’s a nickname for them, and look a lot less scary when they’re not the size of 6 thumbs! Lol

  18. Rachel Murphree 7 years ago

    beautiful colors on this little bee-st….

  19. Sharon Nolfi 5 years ago

    Great story! I’m laughing because it’s so believable. I’ve never heard of that kind of bee, but your painting is nicely detailed.

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