Were St Rita's bees at my Nonnas bed? Or did a stench attract them?

Hi everyone. New poster here not sure if this is right section to ask but here’s the story.

My Nonnas is dying right now and is in special care. She has cancer. Secondary in liver, they never found where the primary cancer is. A prayer for my nonna and my family would be greatly appreciated :slight_smile:
I believe her favourite Saint is Saint Rita and that she prays to her.

My uncle today (Sydney time, just after 7pm as of this post) went to see her and not too long after he got back home, which is same home my Nonna had lived in around last 45 years, he noticed bees on her bed.

He rang my mum to ask about St Rita, my great aunty, my Nonnas sister, was with us when he rang and she told us about the bees that swarmed St Rita as a baby and didn’t harm her.
My uncle said that they then flew into bathroom which is next to the room and he grabbed them 1 by 1 with a tissue and they didn’t try to attack him (I’m not sure how many were there)

Now, the only explanation I can think of if it’s not a sign from St Rita, is maybe bees are attracted to urine because my Nonno who sleeps in that bed isn’t the best when it comes to urinating lately and there is now a stench in the room. The bees did then go to the bathroom after all. In saying this though, this stench has been there for a few weeks now and never a bee in sight. Infact I don’t think anyone has ever seen a bee in the house before, or extremely rare to see on in the around 45 years they have been at that house. Especially the bathroom. Would be hard for them, especially more than 1 to fly in when entering without anyone noticing. Windows are pretty much always closed, sometimes open but of course has fly screen.

Maybe I’m being too optimistic that it gives me a bit of comfort and they did sneak in, somehow smelling the stench from outside (though my Nonno now has a bad habbit of urinating in spots outside but never ever see bees there) but has anyone ever heard of stories of St Rita’s bees appearing to the dying?? Or similar like in this case, the bed my Nonna use to sleep in for so long before she went into care??

They weren’t white bees like I think is described about St Rita but still bees

Thanks guys. Honest opinions no matter if it makes me feel less comforting

I can not think of any reason why a bee (like a honey bee?) would be attracted to urine. Bees drink nectar, and would be attracted to sweetness.

Prayers for Nonna

I don’t know where you live, but in many parts of the country fall is the time of year that many insects, including bees, like to find shelter from the cold, and bees often build nests in the walls of the house. They can often be found indoors because they can squeeze through the smallest cracks.

I have had problems with bees in the house, esp. in one of my bathrooms, and my husband discovered a nest of yellowjackets in the walls of our house. They had entered through a crack in the mortar of the brick on our porch.

I would first presume there is a nest somewhere and call an exterminator before assuming they are a miraculous manifestation. If there is a problem and it’s not taken care of, it will only get worse. These nests can get very large.

I have said a prayer for your grandmother. and you.

This is true, and some species can be destructive to the structure.

Thanks for the honest opinions :slight_smile:

If it is the case that maybe there’s a nest somewhere inside, despite this time of year in Sydney (I am on the Northern Beaches) to me it seems very coincidental for this to happen during this hard time for my family when there’s been no bees problem before. Certainly though will try not to jump straight to a conclusion and see what happens. Don’t want it getting worse that’s for sure!

Thanks again for being honest guys

I don’t think that bees would be attracted to urine. They are generally attracted to flowers and flowers usually smell nice. Perhaps this was a sign of Saint Rita’s prayers. I have no idea.

That said, I will pray for your nonna.

I read that…

"The day after her Baptism, the fifth after her birth, a swarm of bees, white as the driven snow, was noticed hovering and buzzing around the sweet angelic face of baby Rita, as she lay quietly sleeping in her cradle. The bees alighted on her lips and were seen to enter and issue from her partially opened mouth, without harming her or causing her to awaken. All who witnessed this prodigy recognized that it implied a mystery, although they could not fathom it. In after years Rita herself made known the meaning of the mystery by the singular sweetness and simplicity of her manner and by the eminent sanctity of her life; the bees were also a presage of her Beatification by Pope Urban VIII.

After all these centuries, the swarm of bees still exists in the convent, within a small fissure in a wall midway between St. Rita’s cell and the place of her sepulcher. Their color is not white, but that of the common bee, except they have no sting. They live retired during the year, only coming out in the last few days of Holy Week and then returning once again for the Feast of St. Rita. On one occasion, one of the bees was given to Pope Urban VIII but it would not remain and went back to the convent."

I think wherever the bees are from it’s a beautiful sign of God’s love and St. Rita’s prayers. :smiley:

I have read about the bees when she was an infant. I didn’t know about the bees in the convent though. She is my confirmation saint and when I see bees I think of her, while everyone else is running away. lol.

OP, I have no clue if this was something from St. Rita or not, but I will pray for your Nonna.

A different source says:

"This prodigy of the bees in not new in the lives of the Saints. Thus we read of St. John Chrysostom and St. Ambrose that when they were children bees built honey-combs in their hands—a symbol of their honeyed eloquence in the service of God. Bees played a prominent part throughout the whole life of Rita, and the marvel of the “Bees of St. Rita” exists even to the present day. The pious visitor to the Monastery of the Augustinian Nuns at Cascia may still see them in the wall of the ancient cloister near the tomb of the Saint. Though similar in appearance to the ordinary honey-bee, they live a mysterious kind of life of their own. They have no sting, and their buzz is of a peculiar kind. They show themselves only at certain fixed times—on the anniversary of Rita’s death, May 22nd, and on the last days of Holy Week. Immediately after such appearances they retire into little holes in the Convent walls, blocking the entrances with a white filmy substance somewhat like white cotton-wool.

It will be of interest to recall here one of the many beautiful stories connected with the childhood of St. Rita which have survived down the centuries. Once, in the month of July, the parents of Rita went out to reap, taking with them the
infant whom, safe in its cradle, they placed under the shade of a spreading tree. Suddenly there rushed up a reaper from a neighbouring field. He had sustained from a reaping hook a severe wound in the arm which he vainly tried to staunch with a piece of cloth, and was on his way to Cascia to seek medical assistance. Passing near the cradle he saw a swarm of bees hovering over the head of the child. He approached and instinctively waved his swathed arm in an endeavour to disperse them. Marvellous to relate, the bees seemed to buzz and fly about in a friendly manner as if to let him know they intended no harm. Then he felt that the pain in his arm had suddenly ceased. Wonderingly he tore off the impoverished bandage to find that the wound had disappeared."

Thanks for those who will pray for my Nonna, no matter what the real reason for the bees in her room were :slight_smile:
No bees have been seen inside since but if anything does happen, whether it seems more miraculous or a nest is discovered, I will update

Sorry to ask but what is a Nonna?

Nonna is a tender colloquial or ethnic word for Grandmother.

Okay. Thanks. Is that an American expression? I’m British and haven’t heard that before.

I don’t think it’s uniquely American, though there are many people here that say that from different ethnic groups…my husband’s family is Italian, and they all call their grandmothers “Nona.” Our kids call my MIL “Nona” to differentiate her from my mom, who is “Grandma.”

It’s Italian. Grandfather is Nonno.

Yeah it’s Italian for Grandma. I probably should have said Grandma instead for you all to understand but I never call her that.
So definitely not just said in America haha (I mentioned I am in Sydney) but obviously in Italy and most with Italian heritage around the world seem to also refer to their Grandparents as Nonna and Nonno instead of Grandma and Grandpa

vesh, is your Nonna diabetic? There is glucose (a sugar) in the urine of patients with diabetes, which would explain the attraction for the bees.

Ah the bed where the bees were was at my Nonnas home, where the urine stench is from my Nonno who is not diabetic. My Nonna is at a care home I think it’s called palliative care.

As I said in my original post, my Nonno has a bad habit now of urinating in spots outside but there are never ever bees around where he does this.

As far as I know, no other bees have been spotted inside yet since. Could have all snuck in together somehow but you never know

It would seem unlikely, given where the incident took place that bees would be seeking warmth in a wall of a house. Of course, it could well have a simple physical explanation. But coupled with never seeing bees in 45 years and that the poster’s Nona’s fav saint is St. Rita, I would not rule out this being of supernatural nature.
Sometimes I think we go out of our way to dismiss things of heaven. Afterall, if we nourish a relationship with saints, why wouldn’t they reciprocate now and then?

I am not dismissing the things of heaven. The Church tells us that when seemingly supernatural occurrences happen, all natural causes are to be ruled out first before declaring them supernatural. That is how the Church investigates and declares miracles, and that is what we are to do in our lives. I suggested this because the Church teaches us how to discern these things. To blindly declare something of supernatural origin without first investigating to see if there are natural causes is error, and also can lead to superstition. I am following Church teaching in this advice to the OP.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.