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2011 Trip Report - Bee Ware of the Sugarpine Trail

Bee-Ware of the Sugarpine Mountain Trail!

By Jean Roode, 2011

A few weeks ago we went with some family  members, including our two small grandsons, to take a day trip up the Sugarpine  Mountain Trail. On the way we saw the Pioneer Monument, a historical marker  commemorating the Mojave Indian Trail used by Fr. Garcés and Jedediah Smith. As  we travelled further up the trail there was a recently fallen tree blocking the  trail. My brother was thinking if he cut off the smaller, lower-hanging branches  we could possibly drive underneath the trunk. We all wondered why there were  already chop marks on one of the limbs. It wasn’t long before we had our answer.

Mal and one of my grandsons had just gotten out of the  car and I was getting ready to get myself and my other grandson and niece out.  My brother gave 3 or 4 good chops to the branch and then all of a sudden I see  him running away from the tree and he’s yelling "bees, bees, get in the car!" He  ran past my car with the ax in his hand. The bees were swarming and some were  coming in our car since all the windows were down. I felt them in my hair  stinging my head and I’m flailing my arms to keep them away from my face. My  first instinct is to close the windows but the keys were not in the ignition!  I’m yelling at Mal to get his keys and close the windows and he’s outside the  car looking for one of our grandsons. He wasn’t aware that our daughter-in-law  had him safely with her in their truck. After realizing our grandson was safe  and he could close the doors and windows, Mal finally got in the car and closed  everything up but I’m still complaining loudly that I got stung and to get the  bees out of my hair! With no other option, he just started squishing the bees in  my hair. I’m sure this whole ordeal was only seconds but it seemed like forever!

Once everyone got settled down in their vehicles we  assessed the injuries. Besides myself, my brother and his wife got stung. We  were very relieved none of the kids got stung. Luckily my brother, Dr. Mark, for  some strange reason had brought exactly 3 Benadryl tablets with him! When we  were clear of the bees Mark removed the stinger from my head and the 3 of us  took our Benadryl and headed back home. Unfortunately my 4 year old grandson was  stung by a bee at our house the week before this happened so he’s not a fan of  bees.

Now we know why that tree limb had just a few chop  marks in it! We added a few more chops. Will the next person wonder like we did?  Hopefully they won’t have an ax with them and go through the terror we did. I  can’t help but think what would have happened to us if those bees had been  Africanized bees. UPDATE: Mal informed Bob Jacoby about the situation and Bob  was going to make sure the trail is open before his trip on October 22.