To bee or not to bee: Insects drive play from Raab Park

POULSBO — A recorded message for the Jewel Box Theater’s information line states that the reason for a recent change of venue is attributable to bees. Yes, bees.

“We have moved the Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. which were previously scheduled for Raab Park, to the Jewel Box Theater, due to a bee infestation in the park and the unusual warm weather.”

Mike Lund, Poulsbo’s superintendent of Public Works, said that he hadn’t heard of any bee or hornet problems at Raab Park lately.

“We can’t find a bee problem up there, other than maybe bees over around the garbage cans,” Lund said. “We haven’t seen any nests. We haven’t seen anything.”

Cindy Garfein, president of the Jewel Box Theater, said that the group of actors couldn’t determine where the bees were coming from but maintained that they were definitely about.

“We couldn’t find any kind of a bee nest,” Garfein said. “It could be in the ground. I don’t know. Maybe because the weather’s been so warm, they get a little bit more active.”

Some of the cast, Garfein said, got stung after the critters made their way into the actors’ costumes.

“For this particular show, the actors and actresses have long garbs on. This is a show that is based in olden times where people wore flowing robes and all of that,” she explained. “A couple of the actresses actually got stung. The bees got stuck underneath their dresses and all of that. Between that and the heat, we just decided it would be more comfortable for everybody if we moved back to the theater.”

Garfein said the air-conditioned, bee-less environment at the Jewel Box Theater in downtown Poulsbo will be better suited to the needs of the group. The president also made a point to note that the bee problem was not a serious one, just one that merited a little extra caution from those visiting the park.

“It’s not serious,” Garfein said. “I don’t want to alert everybody that the whole park is infested. … You just have to be a little bit careful.”

—Nick Twietmeyer is a reporter with Kitsap News Group. Nick can be reached at ntwietmeyer@soundpublishing.com

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