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by Abigail Van Buren

Story of Dog's Bee Stings Sets Readers to Buzzing

DEAR ABBY: Please don't steer any more business to those bleepity-bleepin' lawyers. The lady whose dog got multiple bee stings should have had her dog fenced in -- or on a leash. He was obviously in bee territory -- not vice versa. -- TREVA ANDREA, POQUOSON, VA.

DEAR TREVA: Since that letter appeared in my column, I learned more about bees than I bargained for. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: Did that woman get the license number of that bee? Or did she read its identification tag on its collar?

Bees are either directly or indirectly responsible for the pollination of two-thirds of all the food we eat. Alfalfa and many grains that feed our livestock are immensely dependent on bee pollination. The bee-keeping industry is already suffering from below-profit honey prices and the overuse of pesticides. In the next few years, the Africanized (killer) bees will reach our temperate climate, causing even greater mass hysteria among our citizens. -- OLIVER D. FRANK, SAN MATEO, CALIF.

DEAR ABBY: I can sympathize with the reader whose puppy was stung. It happened to our puppy a second time, and I thought she would die! She's 9 years old now and has learned not to snap at anything that buzzes.

Did that woman see the insect that stung her dog? Was it a wasp, bumblebee, hornet or yellow jacket? And if she could identify the insect as a honeybee, can she prove it came from the hive next door? -- JEAN MEAD, WINFIELD, W.VA.

DEAR ABBY: You were right about one thing -- the honeybee stings only once and dies. Proving that the bee came from the neighbor's beehive is another thing. There are more wild bees in tree hollows and people's backyards than there are in all the commercial or controlled hives put together. -- CARL E. LOWMAN, COLUMBIA, S.C.