Prichard Wheeler and his family were enjoying the unseasonably warm weather with an outdoor picnic when their lives were suddenly changed forever.
“Looking back, the buzzing was a little more baritone than usual,” Mr. Wheeler said glossy eyed in the hospital bed. “At the time, I didn’t think anything of it.”
Mr. Wheeler’s 10-year-old son, Jamie, was terribly disappointed when his father failed to catch what he claimed to be the best pitch of his life. The ball bounced off the top of his glove and rolled into the bushes.
“A father’s greatest fear is to let down their kid, I truly felt in this moment that I failed as a father.” Mr. Wheeler sighed. “I was just so distracted by the buzzing.”
“My dad is generally a good guy. But sometimes he just needs to focus better,” Jamie said.
Mr. Wheeler swatted at the bee as it flew around his head but the creature outsmarted him and dove down to his bare quad and went in for the sting.
“All morning I was asking my wife, should I go with shorts or pants? I just couldn’t make up my mind. You know how hard a decision like this can be? I ended up wearing shorts and I paid dearly for it.”
Mr. Wheeler dropped to the ground and rolled around in the grass, spastically.
“Honey!” Ellen, his wife shouted. “You’re going to stain your shorts.”
Just seconds passed before Mr. Wheeler sprung to his feet with a cocky grin on his face.
“It stung at first, then something strange happened. I felt reinvented, rested, my biceps were bulging. My posture was flawless.”
Ellen insisted her husband go directly to the hospital. “He just seemed so different. He was confident, muscular, he even made a joke that was genuinely funny. I was absolutely freaked out.”
“My dad seemed so much cooler,” Jamie said. “He even untucked his t-shirt.”
Mr. Wheeler was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance and was wheeled into the ER on a stretcher. “The entire time I was singing ‘Eye of the Tiger’. I know it’s a cliché song but for the first time I just felt like ‘the man’.”
A young nurse took Mr. Wheeler’s blood. “He wouldn’t stay still which was really annoying. And he gave off a sweet odor,” the nurse shook her head. “That was weird.”
The blood test showed high levels of milk and honey which scientists traced to a rare Southeastern European insect called the CowBee.
“This is the first report of a CowBee in North America. We are thrilled to be a part of this!” said Dr. Galvin, PHD Animal Science. “It’s more than your average cross-breeding story.”
The CowBee is slightly larger than a typical North American Honey-Bee. It’s generally yellow with black spots (most similar to a Jersey Cow) and it of course has wings and two stingers; one transmits milk and the other honey. Its head looks more like a cow than a bee. The CowBee was first discovered in the Balkans in 2008 by a group of pale Norwegian tourists.
“It’s an interesting specimen,” Dr. Galvin said. “I’m in conversation with the National Science Foundation to get funding for a ‘Welcome to North America CowBees’ party. It’s the least we can do given the length of their journey.”
“I don’t care what it is,” Ellen said holding a cold washcloth to Mr. Wheeler’s forehead. “I’m not letting Prichard play outside anymore.”
*photo courtesy of http://www.helleniccommunity.com/