In 2011 we stayed in two places on the Big Island, the first was a home on the water in Hilo. It was an older plantation style home with the main floor on the second story. It had great ocean views and was close enough to the water to hear the ocean. If you ever stay on this part of the Island be prepared for a chorus of frogs singing every evening.

The second floor living room was totally surrounded by windows. Sliding them to the right could open each window. Each window also had screens to keep out the bugs. When we checked we opened a number of windows to reduce the musty smell. Understand Hilo is a very wet and rainy town.

Later we closed the windows and noticed a Carpenter bee was stuck between the window and the screen. I believe they are members of the bumblebee family as they are quite large, probably even larger then the average bumble bee. They tend not to be very aggressive and the males have no stinger.

In an attempt to free him, I opened one small corner of the screen thinking the bee would eventually find his way out. However, even after coming home from dinner we noticed the bee was still in the same place looking tired after continuing to fight again the screen. If he had just moved to the right he could have easily flown out from behind the screen and been free.

We went to bed and upon rising in the morning noticed the Carpenter Bee was still hard at work buzzing against the same area of the screen. From time to time he would stop and you could see him breathing heavily. It became apparent to me that this bee was not going to make it unless something changed. I loosened a couple of the other screen fashioners and in so doing the screen moved out from the wall casing about 3 inches. Within a few minutes the bee noticed that there was an opening directly below him. At that point he was able to drop below the screen and fly away; free at last.

So, what can we humans learn from this simple bee story? Here is what I learned. Some times we humans look at a problem through blinders. We continually try the same solutions over and over again to no avail. We beat our head against the wall feeling eventually we will get the result we want. Some times all we need to see the solution is a nudge from the hand of God, or in the case of a carpenter bee, just a nudge from a friendly human.

On the Big Island, 26 miles from a very active volcano.


Dick G.