Cletus is not your normal beekeeper. He is a loner that does the best he can with the amount of smarts he has to work with. Cletus is an old biker that rode around the country picking up odd jobs along the way. He has no family that anyone knows about. It seems that he has lived a solitary life and never stayed in one place for very long.

   About a year ago, Cletus decided to settle down in Bryan, Texas. He found a 5 ac tract of land that had a small RV camper on it and bought it. In April while Cletus was cleaning the outhouse, he was startled by a roar in the sky. His vision is not too good so he moved closer towards the sound. As he approached, he could see a large dark object in a small tree about 10 feet off the ground. The closer he got, the louder the sound became and the more clearly the object had become.

   Cletus was remembering back a few years ago when he was on his bike somewhere on the back roads in Louisiana when this same roar turned out to be a swarm of honeybees. At that time he was cruising at about 70 miles per hour when he hit that swam and was covered from face to boots with angry bees that had no intention of going in his direction. Those bees were tearing Cletus up as he took to the air and landed in a ditch that had about 2 feet of muddy water in it.

    The large dark object is now clear enough that Cletus could tell it was a swarm of honeybees. They looked like a pot of boiling water. There were bees flying in every direction. As he moved closer, he thought “these bees seem to be nicer than the ones I ran into that day in Louisiana”. With that thought, he got an idea. He wondered how he could capture these bees for himself and maybe they would make him some honey.

   I need to find something to put these bees in. “Cletus thought”.  Cletus turned and headed to one of his storage piles.  After digging though that pile with no luck, he headed to another pile. As he rounded that pile, his foot slipped into an armadillo hole. He then tumbled down to the ground face first. His beard and face smashed into a fire ant mound. Before Cletus could move, he had fire ants running through his beard, in his nose and his face was covered in them. Cletus got up slapping at the ants trying to dislodge them. Finally, Cletus grabbed a bucket of old oil that he kept after changing his motorcycle oil. He pushed both hands down into the bucket and came up with as much oil as his hands could hold. Cletus smashed his face into his hands and rubbed oil everywhere he felt that burning sensation.

    After about an hour, Cletus dislodged all of the ants. He looked into the mirror and saw a swollen face covered in black oil looking back at him. His eyes were so swollen, he could hardly see out of them. But this did not stop him from thinking about that swarm. He resumed his search in a third pile of debris. There he came across an old ice chest. After raking out all of the empty beer cans, Cletus threw water and mosquito larva into it from an old plastic swimming pool that had collected rain water. He shook the water around for a minute to rinse it out and then poured it on the ground.

   After his ordeal with the ants and because his face was so swollen, Cletus decided to plan his attack for in the morning. Besides the sun was almost down and his face was still burning and all of this commotion had made him hungry.

 

   Cletus went into the RV. He popped the top on a can of potted meat. He bent the can top to form a make shift spoon. There, over supper, he made his plans to capture that swarm at first light.