When 20,000 Bees Called Shotgun

When Finn turned one, his gift was a used Cozy Coupe. Somehow, we’ve had seven kids and managed to avoid buying one until now. Anyway, because he’s only one and doesn’t even known it’s Tuesday, we didn’t feel too bad that we spent the majority of his birthday money on ourselves.

Andrew and I bought tickets to see one of our favorite comedians, Jim Gaffigan. (Hot Pockets, anyone?)

We figured after 7 kids in 7 years, we’d earned a night of giggles, yes?


We’ve been sick. But I was bound and determined I was going to “Finn’s birthday present” on Monday night if I had to go in my bathrobe.

And I nearly did.

On Monday, Andrew informed me that he had to drive an hour and a half one way to pick up the bees he’d ordered. Now that we live on some acreage, he’s been itching to get some bee hives. And this was the only day they could be picked up.

Fortunately, we’re not doing school this week, so I shuttled the four older kids off with him and planned on resting during nap time, showering, and being ready for an evening out by the time he got home.

Finn had other plans.

He decided napping was for babies and he wasn’t gonna do it. So instead I spent the afternoon wrestling him and blowing my nose.

I am a dainty flower.

I hadn’t heard from Andrew for awhile and he wasn’t answering my calls. I noticed there was bad weather predicted somewhere, but I didn’t really know where he was so I had no idea if I should worry. He finally called, announced “I’m ok. I’ve got to go. Just now headed back. Call you later.”

He was supposed to be at least halfway home by then. I began imagining car trouble, sick kids, all the things a crazy mother imagines when she’s missing the details. Meanwhile, the clock was ticking.

I jumped in the shower. Finn rearranged the first aid kid.


I was in the shower under five minutes (and I could see him, by the way, I just chose to allow the carnage) but when I emerged, the sky was dark, the trees were creaking, and thunder rolled. And then I realized it was hailing.

I tossed on a robe and hefted Finn on my hip so I could go get Willa and Mira from the upstairs. I settled them on the couch with a snack and the TV just in time to grab my phone. Here’s what Andrew told me:

“I’m driving down the interstate, being pelted by gravel-sized hail. I’ve got four kids and 20,000 bees in the van and there are branches flying through the air.”

Well, alrighty then.

It was at that moment when it struck me that the bees were actually IN the van with my people. I didn’t know how they were packaged, but when Andrew said, “Hang on, I’ll hold the phone up so you can hear them buzzing,” I began screeching out questions about epi-pens and sealed containers.

(I know, I know, I should really pay attention more.)

Furthermore, the interstate he was on was narrowed down to one lane of traffic due to ALL THE TREES snapping around him. He was gonna be a little late… (Edited to Add: Turns out he was driving through tornados!)

The hail was coming down at our house pretty hard. And that’s when my sister showed up to babysit. Bless her, she drove through the flying branches and hail to get to us.

And I was still in my bath robe.

I wasn’t even sure Andrew would make it back in time for the show, but I shuffled around and got ready, the adrenalin of the day pushing me past all the feeling-sick business.

Thankfully, Andrew and the kids arrived home safely just in time for us to leave. On our way to the car, I met the 20,000 bees that hitched a ride home with my people.

It made the hairs on my arms stand straight up. These rode in the passenger seat next to Andrew:


When he got home, he discovered one bee on the OUTSIDE of a box, clinging to the side for dear life.

*breathes into paper bag*

There wasn’t time to process this insanity because we had an evening of Actual Planned Hilarity to attend.

And so we did.


We laughed ourselves silly. Jim Gaffigan has five kids 8 and under, so there were a lot of jokes in there that were written just for us, I’m sure of it.

And I imagine Gaffigan would totally understand the day we lived through just to get to that show…


p.s. Andrew put the bees in their hive today and I took pictures, though terrified, just for you. Stay tuned!




  1. I’m saying it again: I’m so glad it’s not just us. And I never would have thought to ponder whether the bees were going to be inside w my ppl. Details, pptthht.

  2. I totally get letting them make a mess just so you can have a few minutes in the shower. I’ve even been known to put something different in the drawer so they have some new “trouble” to get into. I’m glad you had a nice evening out and no bees escaped to join you.

  3. LOVE the bees! My Andrew had bees (before we had kids) — they were in the backyard of our TOWNHOME! LOVED watching him enjoy his “livestock” and taking care of them. Fascinating creatures of God’s creation. He sold his hives when Charlotte turned 2 — our backyard was just too small. Now we are in a house with more of a backyard and he is itching to get bees again! Next year’s project for sure. Can’t wait to read more about the bees!

  4. The bees still give me hives. (pun intended)


  1. […] of you have nicely asked about the bees. I promise a full post is coming soon, but Andrew convinced me to visit them in their new hive. I […]

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