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Proof that no good deed goes unpunished?

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This is a story about a long, long time ago when insects filled the air, not snowflakes.

In other words, it could have happened last week.

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But this happened a few months ago. And things like elections happen that prevent some stories from being told right away.

Some stories, however, are worth telling anyway.

Nathan Hurley of Hurley Tree Service says he just likes to help out.

He proved that a few weeks ago while trimming some trees at Wayne and Louise Lenzmeier's home.

Hurley may have also proven the adage about no good deed going unpunished.

Wayne Lenzmeier, a retired Willmar teacher and member of the district's School Board, has had two major shoulder surgeries and can't lift anything, Louise said.

Branches and other trimmings had accumulated in the Lenzmeiers' trailer and Hurley was going to help out by cleaning out the trailer.

But Hurley had barely reached into the trailer when it happened.

"Everything was covered by yellow by these bees," Hurley said.

"Bees were chasing him down the street," Louise recalled. "I thought, 'Oh no. What if he's going to have an allergic reaction.'"

The bees followed Hurley wherever he went and, when he entered the Lenzmeiers' home, they waited outside.

Hurley's stomach, hands, arms and neck were covered with stings, Louise said.

He told Louise she had to go buy some bug spray.

"How can I," she asked, "Your truck is parked behind my car in the driveway."

As they dashed for their vehicles, the bees chased Hurley and ignored Louise.

Louise bought some spray and returned to her house. There were no bees out in front of the house, she said.

She left the cans of spray out for Hurley and left for a while with a friend who stopped by.

When she returned, Hurley met her and this time he was ready.

"He was wearing a fireman's jacket and a hat with netting," Louise said.

It was a beekeeper's hat and gear borrowed from a fireman friend with every possible place the bees might enter stuffed with towels and sealed with duct tape, Hurley explained. He doused himself with the spray and headed for the trailer.

"I was completely covered in bees," he said. "It was the most insane thing I've ever done."

Hurley removed the hive from the trailer and burned it.

While he could have left after encountering the bees and left the problem for the Lenzmeiers to deal with, Hurley went beyond the call of duty, Louise said.

"I just kind of like to help people," Hurley explained.

But getting rid of the bees cost Hurley hours of work time. He had to work on the Lenzmeiers' trees until 8 p.m.

It's all in a day's work and gave Hurley a chance to show that he's a "full-service tree service."

Gary Miller is an editor for the West Central Tribune.

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