Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bee Feral

We were closer to home, but with 400km still in front of us we decided to stop for the night. We pulled out the map and decided that the Murray Sunset National Park looked like the best place to camp. We figured that its isolated location, vast open spaces and lack of water would provided us with the solitary bush experience that we have come to love. After all who would travel hundreds of kilometers to camp next to a dry salt bed in the middle of summer. 
We were disappointed when we pulled into the campground to see a few other tents, but fortunately they were all congregated next to the long drop. We were able to find a campsite without neighbors.
As we pitched the tent we noticed that there were a fair number of bees flying around. This was a bit of a concern since I am allergic to bee stings. Fortunately, our tent is easy to assemble and I quickly took refuge, hoping that as the sun set on the horizon the bees would also disappear. As Mark continued to set up camp, I was leafing through the Park's brochure, and there in the top right hand corner was a warning of feral bees. Apparently, some of the exotic honey bees that were introduced into Australia over 170 years ago have escaped and become a pest. They especially become a nuisance during the summer months when they aggressively seek out water to cool their hives. Further reading informed me that it isn't just H20 that they are attracted to, but that they love human perspiration. I didn't need to read anymore. I knew that even with my EpiPen nearby I still did not want to experience an allergic attack should I be stung. I had no choice but to imprison myself in our tent.  Mark couldn't have agreed more; truly, he dreads the day when we are hundreds of kilometers from anything and he has to stick me in the leg with epinephrine. 

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