A Bee-autiful Shower

by admin on August 8, 2012

My mother recently threw a bridal shower for my cousin’s fiancée at her home. The preparations for the shower began months in advance, as my mother has a tendency to go all out with parties. We worked all day, and were up very late the night before the shower making sure everything was perfect. The shower began with appetizers and drinks outside under tents in my mom’s garden, and later moved inside for a lovely lunch. I do not know the bride well, and had only met her once or twice at other family events. I was running around outside getting everyone drinks and such, when the bride approached me and said, “I don’t want to miss up your mother’s motif, but we are having issues with bees on the food.”

Seriously? It was an outdoor, afternoon event. There were bees, as there are with every outdoor, afternoon event. I asked the bride what she would like me to do about the bees, and my cousin (her husband-to-be) cut the tension by joking that I should catch them.

I thought it was so rude to complain about the only thing wrong with the lovely party. I would love to hear what others have to say about this situation.   0803-12

I wouldn’t sweat the small stuff even if someone else is.   Yes, she should have been more gracious but if Yellow Jackets were dancing all over the food with their little waspish tootsies, I can imagine that would concern some people.   Not much a hostess can do about nature though.  It’s not like you can spray the food area with propellent bug spray and a vision of a hostess smacking bees dead with a fly swatter around the canapes isn’t that appetizing either.   Bride to be simply had no idea that the alternatives were far worse than bees doing the Cha Cha on the avocado dip.  Let it go…



{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris August 8, 2012 at 10:01 am

Meh, I agree with the admin that sweating the small details seems… unnecessarily stressful. However as a suggestion for you and your mother in the future OP, a quick Google search shows information that certain herbs may be natural repellants for insects, including bees and wasps. Next time you may consider setting up a few candles near the food that are anointed with peppermint essential oil. If you pick otherwise scentless candles, or a scent which mingles favorably with the peppermint, you won’t even put anyone off their meal but could reduce the amount of insects buzzing around. I can’t vouch for having tried this personally, but even if it doesn’t work, it’s not as if it will make things worse. 🙂


Wendy August 8, 2012 at 10:03 am

Is the bride allergic to bees?

My husband is, and he can reasonably spend time outside gardening, picnicking, etc., but sometimes bees…honey, wasps, yellow jackets, whatever, suddenly decide that what he’s doing is far more interesting than their daily routines. Sometimes he can wait them out, sometimes he has to move. Sometimes he can’t wait them out because he’s far too nervous (especially with wasp-type critters).

I’m saying this because if the bride is allergic, or maybe even has a phobia, and there are more than the usual number of bees present (say, more than one or two) her concern is valid. Additionally, if a lot of sweet things were being served, it undoubtedly would attract more bees. At that point, the bride should have said, “I’m sorry, I know this might seem silly, but I’m very allergic and I’m getting nervous…would you mind if we moved inside?” She didn’t, but that doesn’t mean she didn’t have a valid worry.


Stacey Frith-Smith August 8, 2012 at 10:14 am

Citronella plants, candles or scented candles also deter the little freeloaders. Bride to be should have overlooked it since it wasn’t something that could be corrected in the moment. (In which case it sounds like a petulant complaint whereas a gracious acknowledgement of the beautiful event would have been far more appropriate.)


Puzzled August 8, 2012 at 10:18 am

There are also many types of coverings for food that can be utilized at outdoor events, some that can even be made at home very inexpensively.

I personally don’t have a problem with bees, but flies on food make it very hard for me to enjoy outdoor events. I know what they do when they land on food. Bleech.


GroceryGirl August 8, 2012 at 10:21 am

It sounds like she asked nicely and wasn’t being ungrateful; she probably thought it was a genuine concern. I know it would bother me and if it were my party I would cover the dishes with tin foil or something (actually I have mesh food nets for this specific purpose because I host a lot of outdoor meals and am not really interested in some extra bug protein in my food), maybe even moving the food inside? Honestly, it seems like something I would say, not meaning to offend but thinking I was pointing out a valid problem.


AMC August 8, 2012 at 10:23 am

I don’t think the bride did anything wrong. Of course, there wasn’t much that could be done about it at that moment, but it doesn’t sound like she was blaming you or your mother for the bees being there, just bringing it up to you as a concern. And her concern was warranted since bees can sting, some people are allergic to them, and it’s just a bit unpleasant to have insects crawling on the food. As one commentor mentioned, there are candles and herbs that can easily and safely be used as bug repellents for outdoor events.


Decimus August 8, 2012 at 10:34 am

I’m not sure the bride-to-be’s comment qualifies as a complaint. It’s more of her notifying the OP of what she thinks might be a slight problem. She may not realize there’s much that could be done, or she may have thought things could have been moved inside earlier. It’s also possible one of the other guests was having an issue and the btb wasn’t sure how to deal with it. It seems like she was polite enough, unless her tone was accusatory. Without knowing the tone, it sounds like she was notifying the OP of a minor mishap like she might say “I don’t want to cause a fuss, but someone spilled punch all over the tile floor.” Less complaint for the sake of complaining and more notifying the hostess of a potential problem.


clairedelune August 10, 2012 at 12:38 am

That was my thought, too. If there really were a whole lot of bees, it’s reasonable to imagine that the hostesses would want to do something to make their guests more comfortable.


Amanda August 8, 2012 at 10:37 am

I don’t think she was rude at all. The guest of honor approached one of the hostesses (even if technically it was your mother hosting, you were obviously handling some hosting duties) to let her know that there was an issue. I’m not sure what was wrong about that. Did you leave out that she went on to harass you about it all afternoon or gripe loudly to every other guest or complain about things that weren’t worth complaining about? Would you have been happier if she had not said anything, but let you think everything was ducky while the guest of honor spent the whole party worrying about potential bee stings, which can be very dangerous for some?

As for what you could have done about them, if the issue was simply people being grossed out at bees crawling all over the food, there are covers made especially to keep bugs off outdoor spreads. They may have messed up your mother’s motif, not always fancy or pretty, but they help. A plate or bowl turned over also works in a pinch.


Daisy August 8, 2012 at 11:24 am

The last time my daughter was stung by a bee, we almost lost her. We knew she didn’t react well when stung, but didn’t know that more violent reactions can develop at any time. For this reason, I would never discount someone who reported issues with bees or wasps. We always have several attractive glass wasp traps set out when we’re dining al fresco. If there were only a few of the critters about at a party, I’d station someone near the food to whisk them away, but if there were quite a few of them I’d quietly move the party indoors, which in this case wouldn’t have been a hardship as that was the plan for lunch in the first place.


Shiny Gloria August 8, 2012 at 11:44 am

This doesn’t seem like “small stuff” to me. If the bride (or any of the guests for that matter) have a bee allergy it could be a big deal.

Someone suggested candles or herbs; I have umbrella-shaped see-through food covers in many sizes that can be used to keep bugs off the food at picnics.

If it’s just one or two bees, someone who is not allergic could gently shoo them away. However, if there were dozens of bees, the hostess may have a hive nearby in the yard and may want to see about having it removed.

Finally, it doesn’t sound like bride-to-be was rude at all! What she said sounded pretty tactful to me.


Ashley August 8, 2012 at 11:55 am

I’m sort of used to people freaking out over bees (Seriously, yelling and flailing and running away), so I honestly would have been happy if someone had come up to me and addressed it quietly rather than doing the yelling/flailing/running thing.

Perhaps next time, look into some of those unscented candles that keep bugs away, or line the property with torches or something.


Leah August 8, 2012 at 12:02 pm

I’ve been to a few outdoor events that keep gauze covers and mesh tents over food when not being actively accessed. In the future, that may solve the bees tootsies problem.


Margaret August 8, 2012 at 12:34 pm

If there were stinging insects in the food and I wasn’t sure that the hostess had noticed, I would mention it as well. If there is a potentially harmful problem, is it not proper to bring it to the hostess’s attention? OP says that bees are just to be expected at outdoor parties. Perhaps the bride did not frequently attend outdoor parties, and was not aware that the bees were par for the course. For what it’s worth, I have never been at an outdoor event where people were complacent about bees (or any insects) in the food.

Didn’t the bride thank the hostess for the shower? I can see being miffed if the bee issue comment was the only thing she said to the hosts.


June First August 8, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Is it food that can be covered?
I’m not afraid or allergic, but I also don’t like insects crawling on my food. If I was the bride in this situation, I’d probably ask/offer to get a cover for the dish.


mechtilde August 8, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Well at least it wasn’t a pigeon in the rafters…


StephM August 9, 2012 at 10:37 am

Is this a reference to something or am I missing out on the very obvious answer of birds doing their business? o_O


mechtilde August 9, 2012 at 12:03 pm

No- it’s just that I was once working at a dinner event where there was a pigeon in the rafters- it had got in through a window which had been opened too wide. The caterers were really worried, and were asking if we could get the cherrypicker (a sort of lift/crane which can be used to get to high places) and use a fishing net to attempt to catch it before the dinner started. They didn’t seem to realise that as soon as we tried anything like that, it would simply fly over to the next rafter…

When the guests arrived we behaved as though nothing was wrong, and our feathery gatecrasher just stayed up aloft and wasn’t noticed by anyone. The next day we closed all the blinds and left just one window open.

It left.


MiseryLovesYou August 8, 2012 at 12:57 pm

I agree with OP, it was rude to complain if a.) the bride offered no suggestions as to what she would like done, and b.) if she had not already acknowledged and thanked the hostesses for their efforts to throw the party.

I also agree with Admin that the best course of action would be to let it go and not let this one comment flavor your future dealings with the bride. It’s not like you caught her saying something insulting to another guest or anything like that. If she’s a repeat offender, thats a different story, but only time will tell.


Spuck August 8, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Barring a bee allergy or phobia, which is something someone should have warned the party host about in advance, there really isn’t anything you can do. Even if you had covers on the food those would be removed and most likely been forgotten after the third round of lets-protect-the-food. I don’t know if they are any less hygienic, but I’d also choose bees round my food than flies any-day.


lkb August 8, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Whether one is the bride, a member of the wedding party or a guest, an allergy to bees is nothing to mess around with. The post and the response seem a bit flippant for what may (or may not, granted) have been a life-threatening concern.


admin August 8, 2012 at 4:11 pm

People with allergies to bee stings come prepared with Epipen in hand. I wouldn’t assume the bride has bee allergies unless she actually said so to the hostess and from the story given by the OP, there was no mention of allergies whatsoever.


AS August 8, 2012 at 4:26 pm

@admin, with due respect, I don’t agree that everyone with allergies to bees come prepared with Epipens. I was a graduate student in a Forestry department of a big University, and many of the courses had field work. The HOD was saying that a student, who had no known history of bee allergy, once went into anaphylatic shock after being bitten by a bee.
The truth is that a person has to be sensitized to a particular allergen by being exposed to it to have an allergic response (which is why we may not be affected by seasonal allergies when we just move to a new place, but might be affected in subsequent years). Sometimes, it might require more than one exposure to the allergen. Not many people are bitten by bees more than once, and those who are bitten might not have had an extreme reaction yet to know that they are allergic. Hence you cannot be sure who is allergic to bee sting and who is not.

Ofcourse, the bride did not say that she is allergic to bee sting, and I would not assume that either. But it might be a possibility that she, or someone in the guest might be allergic to them.


Cher630 August 10, 2012 at 5:34 pm

When bees sting, they leave their stinger in the victim’s skin. There is also a pheremone that attracts OTHER bees to that victim. They will also sting him/her. So if one person at this bridal party was stung, he/she could be stung multiple times within a few minutes. Even if you don’t have a bee allergy, being stung a few times is painful. I would be horrified if I hosted a party and someone was stung. The OP should be grateful that the BTB brought the problem to her attention. With all the sue-happy people these days, you don’t know if someone could have held the OP liable.


admin August 10, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Suing a hostess because a bee stung a guest? The comments to this post are becoming ridiculous. I have hosted many outdoor showers and parties, my deck and surrounding gardens are an explosion of blooms and I even had two beehives a few years ago. Bees are not a problem if you don’t harass them and I never had a guest stung by a bee even when Yellow Jackets swarmed around the spigots of several lemonade urns one year. If you attend an outdoor function, it comes with the territory that there will be wildlife in attendance. A host or hostess is under no obligation to protect every guest from every conceivable and possible interaction a guest may have with the resident wildlife. You do the best you can and if nature decides to crash the party, oh well!

Further, people have to take responsibility for their own health issues and if a guest is that allergic to bee stings that death is possible, that guest better have his/her Epi-pen in their possession (and yes, *I* carry my own Epi-pen with me all the time).

jen a. August 11, 2012 at 9:30 am


Thank you! These “legally responsible” posts (on both sites) get a bit out of hand. There are bees outside. If we eat outside we might come into contact with them. End of story. People need to take responsibility for their own well-being. Not only that, there has been no mention of allergies in the OP’s original post. I think we can reasonably infer that the bride was not allergic.

E August 9, 2012 at 4:16 am

Even if there are guests there with an allergy who have an epipen with them you still don’t want to run the risk of them being stung! It’s still an incredibly dangerous situation and prompt medical attention is needed.

As the OP doesn’t mention allergies it may be a bit of a red herring and more down to personal preference but I don’t think the bride was rude. There’s a difference between having a couple of bees flying around and so many they’re swarming on the food – as other posters have pointed out there are ways around it (food nets/citronella/moving the food inside earlier than intended). She tried to politely let her hostess know there was an easily solved problem (and didn’t want to tread on any toes by asking everyone to move inside herself no doubt!).

Unless she whined to anyone who would listen for hours afterwards (which isn’t mentioned) I don’t think the OP is being fair.


AS August 10, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Yes, not being allergic to bees does not mean that a person would enjoy eating food infested with bees. That is plain gross! I too think that the bride was quite polite in her request – and you could have had an alternative, like nets, scented candles, moving the food inside, etc. I hope OP’s cousin’s reaction was just to abate the situation an not to mock his finace’ with his cousins.


Erin August 9, 2012 at 9:13 am

That’s not entirely true – even people who know they’re allergic don’t always carry an Epipen. My husband, for one. One of my coworkers is also extremely allergic and even though the company pays to get him an Epipen, it’s up to him to get the prescription and he just never will do it no matter how often we remind him.


Wendy August 9, 2012 at 2:16 pm

My husband is the same (unfortunately). Mainly because he has no health insurance = no prescription plan and considers his heart medication more important. :o)

Also, did the bride (or anyone else outside of the planning party) know part of the event was going to be outside? If you know something will be held outside, you remember your pen. If you think it will be inside, you might not bring it with you.


catherine August 9, 2012 at 12:42 pm

If you are allergic to bee stings, get stung, and use an epi pen, you still have to go to the hospital to ensure the the epi pen was effective. You don’t know if one epi pen was sufficient to stop the reaction or just slowed it down, and you still need another one.

Also, I catered an august bbq wedding, and orange sesame chicken skewers were one of the main dishes. after I loaded the buffet, 5 minutes later they were covered in yellow jackets! I was mortified. I threw out the top layer and covered the rest with a napkin. The guests were mostly country people and laughed off my repulsion. But I certainly learned a few lessons that day.


Margaret August 11, 2012 at 12:49 am

One of my kids had a moderately severe reaction to some kind of unidentified insect bite or sting, so, living out where it takes 20 minutes for an amubalance to arrive, I asked our doctor if I could get a prescription for an epipen. The prescription was for 2 epipens — $200. The pharmacist told me that if I ever had to use one, to get to the hospital immediately. The epipen would give me about 15 minutes, at which point I would need to use the second one.


catherine August 11, 2012 at 11:56 pm

I also believe epi pens have a shelf life of 20 months from the time they were made. that would get expensive to replace when they got too old.

AuntieEm August 8, 2012 at 2:55 pm

maybe she was trying to ask if there was any way to cover the food? like those little tent things that fit platters?


Allyne August 10, 2012 at 3:02 pm

This was also what I assumed she meant, especially with reference to messing up the “motif.”


AS August 8, 2012 at 3:13 pm

There is a simple solution to flying insects sitting on food problem – netted food tents. They are quite cheap, and your guests will be happy if they don’t have to eat the bees along with wonderfully prepared and laid out food. Using some herbs like Chris suggested might help too.

Coming to the BTB in the story, unless she has been ungrateful otherwise, I’d say that she was just trying to point it out, and thought that you or your mother had some way out. I can see her being concerned if she was allergic to bees, or knew/thought someone in the guest might be allergic to them.


Jenny August 8, 2012 at 3:18 pm

The best thing with bees is to ignore them. I’ve been stung a few times but it was always because I either stepped on a bee or disturbed a hive.


TylerBelle August 8, 2012 at 3:18 pm

I didn’t see what the bride did as a complaint so much as voicing a possible concern some people may have due to allergies, fear of bees, or perhaps the reluctance some may have of touching food bugs have congregated around. She was even apologetic as to maintaining the party atmosphere. Had she freaked out, thought the party ruined, or acted ungrateful towards all else, then there would be a bigger issue. As it is, I agree with what’s been mentioned about not worrying over a small hitch.


Cami August 8, 2012 at 4:34 pm

I was once at an informal outdoor wedding and bees were crawling all over the cake. NO ONE ate the cake. It was a huge cake that ended up going into the trash because everyone was so disgusted by not only insects crawling all over it, but also by the fact that some of the bees got stuck in the frosting.

As a hostess, it IS your responsibility to ensure that the food is edible. Most people are not going to find food with insects crawling over it to be edible.


Emmy August 8, 2012 at 5:02 pm

I have a phobia of bees and one of my friends is deathly allergic to bees, so I’m not really seeing what the bride did wrong. Maybe she could’ve phrased it better such as “I don’t want to mess up your mother’s plan, but it seems there are bees on the food, perhaps we should move inside?”, but to many people bees (or bugs of any kind) are geniune concern. Not just a “minor annoyance”.

Would it have been better if she just told everyone to move inside? She was bringing an issue to someone she persumed was in charge’s attention. If something caught on fire, would you not want her to mention it?


Elizabeth August 8, 2012 at 5:23 pm

It completely squicks me out to see insects of any kind crawling on food. It’s disgusting. If I were the BTB, it would have totally put me off of my lunch and would have made me nauseous. I’m sure she could have hardly imagined that people think it’s normal to have a party with bees or whatever on the food. It’s possible that she had not encountered such a thing as a hostess, and was likely bringing it up to inquire about possible solutions, which could have ranged from candles to mesh covers to fans to moving the food inside (as many here have suggested). I’m sure the one thing she did NOT imagine was to be told – “oh that’s just normal, nothing to be done.” Why for heaven’s sake would you put food outside if you know that insects will immediately land all over it??????


Jones August 8, 2012 at 7:03 pm

I would have been very squicked out at insects in the food, probably couldn’t have continued to eat. I realize there wasn’t much the hostess could have done in the moment, but I too would probably have brought it to her attention in hopes that some citronella was available or that we could move to the house. For what it’s worth, I always have citronella candles going during a barbecue, the food has covers, and we have a wasp catcher hanging nearby; bug problems are rare during a backyard festivity at my house.

Also, not everyone with an allergy carries an epi pen. My SIL misplaced hers recently and has not had the chance to make the 3 hour drive to our nearest allergenist for a checkup and a new prescription (he requires regular visits and it’s been two years). Plus some of us don’t have diagnosed allergies; I’d hate for a shower memory to be the first time Maude ever got stung by a bee, and it was BAD.


RedDevil August 8, 2012 at 7:34 pm

I’d place the etiquette failure here on the host. The party was planned for outdoors, knowing bugs and crawlies would be hanging around, and nothing was planned to deter them?

As for expecting a non-allergic guest to ‘shoo’ the bees away, I certainly wouldn’t want to be put in that position as a guest. I may not be allergic, but that doesn’t mean I’m happy to get stung, either!

If I were a guest (or even the host), I’d be pleased that the BTB mentioned the issue to the hosts in the hopes that something be done about it. OP’s seemingly curt response asking what she expected her to do about the bees was unhelpful and caused more tension rather than diffuse and solve the problem.


German Shepherd August 8, 2012 at 10:52 pm

I don’t see what bride did wrong here. Insects crawling on food is disgusting and they can contaminate the food with whatever is on their pointy legs. I agree that tin foil or some other form of covering should’ve been placed on the food. And seriously, who likes to be stung?

OP, bride wasn’t being rude, nor was she complaining. She handled the situation well by voicing her concern to you, one of the hostesses. Be grateful she did that. Don’t overreact and create tension over such a petty thing.


confused August 9, 2012 at 3:44 am

My father is a beekeeper so if you go down the end of the garden where the bees are, of course there are loads flying around there. Most people who know us well know about the bees and either enjoy watching them fly or stay down the other end of the garden. We have had many outdoor afternoon events and I don’t think there has ever been an occasion where bees were all over the food. Part of our preparation is to get the citronella candles and the net covers out. OP, you say your mother spent months preparing and I’m sure the place looked lovely, but really, if bees are so commonplace at your parties, surely part of that preparation could have been one of the many things people have suggested here? I personally would always let my dad know if his bees are trying to join in the party. Just because I am not afraid of them does not mean that others are not. Particularly if there were children there the bride did the responsible thing by alerting the hostess to a potential problem – neither she nor you would like the party that took months of preparation to be remembered as the time Aunty Milly had to be carted off to hospital.
As admin says, let it go. And the next time try to avoid the problem by factoring it in and not assuming your guests will not be bothered by stinging insects.


TylerBelle August 9, 2012 at 11:22 am

Where my aunt used to live there were quite a bit of bees in the area, and she had these little lavender-colored flowers growing all along her front walkway. When my brother and I were younger, we would be amused for hours, sitting out on the front porch, watching bees riding on the flowers. It was sort of cute how they’d attach themselves to the blossoms, and the insects being heavier, the flower would bend over and bounce a little as the bee would hang upside down. They can be interesting to watch, and they were at my aunt’s house, especially if there would be a lot on the flowers at once. 🙂


catherine August 12, 2012 at 12:02 am

Honey bees have such a nicer temperment than yellow jackets. They won’t sting unless they get squashed. They just want to do their job and collect yummy nectar. Yellowjackets, on the other hand, will go out of their way to sting you, just because.


Enna August 9, 2012 at 5:22 am

The bride was discreetly voicing a concern, she did not mention that she was allergic herself but she may have thought that someone else might be. If there were children around she might be thinking of them too (I don’t know that much about bridal showers). She may have thought, with all the hard work that you and your mother had put into it, that she didn’t want it ruined by some bees landing in the food and putting other people off. If the food wasn’t covered up OP could have told her were the foil, clingfilm, teatowels, foodcovers were to cover up the food.


Enna August 9, 2012 at 5:24 am

P.S I think that your cousin handled it well, but since OP knew there would be bees with an outdoor eventl, were there any citronia candles?


GsMom August 9, 2012 at 7:04 am

I agree with the previous poster(s) regarding the potential for disaster when there may be known or unknown bee allergies. I got stung numerous times growing up. A few years passed and as a teenager I was stung again, and having had no previous allergic reaction, did not think anything of it. Until minutes later when I couldn’t breathe. Who was to know I had developed an allergy? I almost died. Luckily a friend got me to the ER, which was thankfully just minutes down the street. Since then I have had a crippling phobia of bees. I have fainted on occasion. But generally if I see one it’s all over, I’m out of there, and I can’t help it, no matter what the occasion. It was entirely possible that not only was BTB concerned about potential for stings and reactions (I don’t think I would want the memory of my shower to be when someone almost died and the ambulance had to come) but perhaps someone on her side (friends or family) had an allergy or a phobia. If it were the bride, yes, the hostess probably would have known, but if it was a friend or family member of the bride, I’m sure the hostess has probably never met them, let alone know about an allergy or phobia. If I were a guest, I would not assume that the shower I was attending would be outside, and then with many bees hovering around. If I arrived and that was the case, I would have to either go inside or leave. For those without allergies or phobias it is very easy to brush off concerns with “oh just ignore them” or “oh well, we’re outside”. But for those with allergies or phobias, a bee flying around might as well be an attacker with a gun hovering around. Our reactions are the same to both. Also, having an Epipen on hand doesn’t make the situation any less unpleasant because you still have to get to a hospital after administering it.

Aside from the squick factor, if sweets were served, the bees would not limit themselves to just the food on tables, but be drawn to the food people were actively eating… that would not be conducive to an enjoyable time. Then the food the hostess spent so much time and effort preparing would go to waste. I have a feeling that may have also been motivation for the BTB. Not to want to see all the lovely food go uneaten because of bees.


Sarah Jane August 9, 2012 at 8:09 am

Allergies or no allergies, no one enjoys the prospect of being stung. Someone needed to say something in the hopes (no matter how small) that the hostess, the person IN CHARGE of the party, might be able to do something.

That being said, if I were the guest of honor, I’d make sure (out of fear of sounding ungrateful) that it was someone else who said something to the hostess. I’d hide behind my mother or the maid of honor or someone like that. That may seem cowardly, but at least the hostess wouldn’t be complaining about me on Hell’s Bell’s.


confused August 9, 2012 at 2:52 pm

The hostess shouldn’t be doing that anyway, as a bride to be I am not going to turn into a coward because someone might turn around and complain about me online!


Angeldrac August 9, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Here here! You took the words right out of my mouth! Bee’s are not pleasant to be stung by, and the bride was being more than reasonable in asking if there was anything the host could do about them.
I don’t know if it’s an Australian thing or not (bugs a-plenty around here), but we always have some sort of insect-keeping-away things stored around the house somewhere for this reason. Maybe the bride thought you might have some citronella candles in a cupboard, that you could whip out to keep the nasty, stingy things away?
Admin, did your comment about not sweating the small stuff refer to the bride or the OP? (cos I know which I’d choose)


Angela August 9, 2012 at 9:29 am

“we are having issues with bees on the food” doesn’t sound like complaining to me, but alerting the hostess to a possible problem. I would not want to eat food that has had bees crawling over it (a bee or two, I could deal with). Maybe she thought that there was a bee contingency, given the amount of preparation described?


Kikidee August 9, 2012 at 10:43 am

If you have access to an outdoor outlet, you can plug a fan in and put it on low. The breeze will annoy the bugs and keep some of them away as well. I don’t think the bride was out of line, when there are bees around people get ansty and stressed out.


Enna August 10, 2012 at 4:47 am

I like the idea of a fan – that’s useful.


twik August 9, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Well, the bride didn’t “ask nicely” – she didn’t ask anything, it appears. If she’s asked, “Is there anything we can do to keep the bees away?” it would have likely been seen as more constructive.


catherine August 12, 2012 at 7:43 pm

Its hard to tell with the written word what the tone was, but when the BTB mentioned the bees, the OP responded with “what do you want me to do about it?” It appears that the OP dislikes the BTB by the way she took instant offence to the comment and may have responded rather abruptly, and shut down any further recourse.
As the host, it was up to her to find the solution after the BTB presented the problem. I wonder what the back story is, as we are hearing only one side of the issue.


Library Diva August 9, 2012 at 1:49 pm

I think OP should just let this one go, especially since everything seems to have gone fine otherwise. I’m sure BTB was not trying to denigrate the hard work that you and your mother put into the shower, just alerting you to a potential problem. She many not have even been the one who noticed it, it could be that she heard a few complaints and just decided to let you know. Give her another chance before you write her off as being rude.


Peep August 9, 2012 at 7:57 pm

I’m from Michigan, and Michigan has yellow jackets. We don’t do much eating outside at all because of them. They come out in large numbers, are completely fearless, can sting multiple times, and are just down right mean. Once the first plate of food goes down, they’re not far behind. And they eat everything. I once saw one eat steak off my parent’s plate. I’m sorry, but there’s no way I’m sitting at a table that’s covered in meat eating insects. Getting stung aside, I wouldn’t eat food that had been covered with flies. I don’t see why food covered with bees is any different.

If I was in that situation, I would also contact the host about the bees. It’s unsanitary, it’s dangerous for people who might have an allergy, and there are lots of possible ways to keep them off the food. Maybe the host just forgot to put out the food covers. Maybe they had citronella candles available. Maybe the food could be moved indoors if the bees were getting out of hand. There are more ways to fix this problem than to allow the food to be covered in bees, or poison everyone by spraying the food with bug spray.

The OP didn’t mention the bride’s attitude about the rest of the party. If the only feedback the host got about the party was the comment about the bees, I can see being a bit miffed. Nobody likes to put a lot of effort into something and only hear complaints back. However, if the bride was gracious and grateful throughout the day and this was the one negative comment of the entire day, I think the host is really overreacting.


Cat August 10, 2012 at 11:18 am

The question of whether bee feet differ from fly feet made me think. “Hmmm…”, as Arsenio Hall used to say.

I knew I felt differently about bees on my food than I did about flies on my food. All I can think of is that bees land on flowers and flies tend to prefer animal waste. I don’t mind little feet that have been prancing on my begonias as much as I mind ones that have been visiting my horses’ manure.

I think I would have moved the party indoors. I have friends who are bothered by candle wax, especially those with citronella scent added, and bug spray, at best, smells like bug spray.


youngchick68 August 10, 2012 at 9:55 am

Did anyone ask the BTB if she was allergic to bees? There are some people that are DEATHLY allergic to bee stings which can cause shortness of breath, coma or even worse. It’s possible the BTB is very grateful with regards to the bridal shower but very worried about getting stung.


JenaR August 10, 2012 at 11:11 am

I get the impression the OP doesn’t care much for the bride, or perhaps just didn’t like the way the bride approached her, or something. Were I hosting a party where there were bees milling about the food, I’d want to know. Aside from the fact that I’m also allergic to bee stings, I would just feel awful if anyone got stung at my party. Without knowing the tone of her voice, it seems to me the bride was trying to do you a favor.


June First August 10, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Just to play devil’s advocate, what if it wasn’t an “issue with bees”? What if it was something else entirely? Would the bride have been complaining if she pointed out the pitcher of mimosas was leaking, or that someone missed the dog’s leavings on the edge of the lawn?

If you take the health concerns out of it, and it’s something that could put a damper on the party, would the OP then have the correct response?


Cher630 August 10, 2012 at 5:19 pm

I don’t think the bride was rude at all! She was concerned about insects on the food. While bees aren’t known disease -spreaders like houseflies are, it’s still unsanitary. The bride was trying to tell the co-hostess about a problem…she wasn’t complaining about the decor, the food, the location. She wanted the co-hostess to know that bees were on the food. Many people are either deathly allergic or afraid of bees. In fact, the bride said she didn’t WANT to mess with the mother’s decor! I think she was just trying to help. I think the OP needs to stop being so damn sensitive!


Groban August 10, 2012 at 8:52 pm

Once again I am perplexed by the admins comments. Yes probably not the best phrasing, but from what i read of the sentence, she noted the mothers nice work and felt bad for ‘messing it up’ by some means to protect the food and explained why. To me that sounds exactly like can I cover it with stuff without making it seem like I didn’t appreciate your mothers work. Gosh I feel like never opening my mouth ever in case I commit some invisible faux par. However then I would be told to have a polite spine. You can’t win here. Even with a fairly normal sentence.


Kovi August 13, 2012 at 3:45 pm

I don’t see how she really did anything wrong. Perhaps she didn’t entirely think it through (indeed, what was the OP supposed to really do about it at that point?), but I’d be rather unwilling to go eat after seeing a swarm of bees all over the food. If you think about it, they’re insects just like flies, and who wants to eat food that flies have just been all over? Maybe they aren’t massive disease carries, but it’s still not preferred.

Granted, I don’t have any experience throwing parties like this, but some of the comments suggesting special repellent candles seem like a good one. Or use lots and lots of plastic wrap over dishes that allow for it.

In short, I agree with quite a few others that the OP is being too sensitive, and perhaps took the bride’s comment out of context.


Sallyann August 14, 2012 at 7:20 am

I wouldn’t want to eat food that had insects all over it.

I really don’t understand the OP’s attitude that nothing can be done about it. You cover the food or bring it inside. Much nicer!


MidoriBird January 3, 2013 at 12:26 pm

I can see my sister making this sort of complaint.

But then again, bee stings will trigger anaphylaxis shock in her. She’s deathly allergic to them.


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