Tuesday, September 9, 2008

No More Bees, Please

I am becoming increasingly skeptic about the so-called bee shortage. In the last four years I've personally witnessed four swarms at our house (twice in the olive tree, the sheep ramp, and the pine tree). Then there was the swarm I saw flying over the road during late spring/early summer this year; the one my blogging friend Roberta reported on, and finally the swarm that was reported in the news a few weeks ago.

Now we've found a new batch of bees that have taken up residence under our eaves on the east side of the house. Who knows how long they've actually been there already.

We strongly suspect these are Africanized bees because they are extremely aggressive. The first time I went out to take some pictures of them I was hiding behind a spindly little tree about 10 feet away. I snapped one or two pictures when suddenly there was a bee buzzing about my face.

I scurried away to safety. I wasn't satisfied with those few pictures and wanted some more so I slowly made my way back towards the little tree. This time I squatted down between the tree and the house, still about 10 feet away. Within seconds there was another bee or two confronting me. I made a hasty retreat. Then I remembered my telephoto lens and went to the house to change lenses. I came out again, this time staying about 20 feet away. I had to switch the lens to manual focus because it kept trying to focus on the tree branches that were a little closer than the bees. I got a shot or two and the next thing I knew a bee had bounced off the side of my head. Okay, I got the message loud and clear. That was enough for me. I fled back to the safety of the inside of the house.

We knew these bees would not be worth salvaging (no one wants Africanized bees--with good reason) so we waited until darkness fell and got a can of wasp killer out. We didn't kill them all but we're making a dent.

It's rather scary how crazy these bees are. We are (that is, my husband) making a trek to the side of the house every night to spray killer spray at the congregation of bees. Each night they seem to get a little wiser to what's going on. It's to the point now that he can't turn the flashlight on until the moment before he sprays or they start flying out at him. Last night they didn't even wait until the flashlight was turned on; they attacked him as soon as he got close enough. Bees aren't supposed to fly in the darkness, yet these ones do. They followed him around the corner of the house and two managed to get inside with him. One we were able to kill immediately by brushing it off and stomping on it but the other flew off and terrorized me for about 15 minutes before we were able to swat it down and smash it.
I'm thinking it may be a good idea to call the pest company and go ahead and fork over the $95 they want to conduct the extermination (since we already are on service with them we don't have to pay the usual $165!!). They will be able to reach into the hive with a special hose and spray a powder-like killer. Then they said they come back after 24 hours to seal the hole up, thus preventing any future swarms from repopulating the hive, something they said is very likely.

I've heard about homes that had extensive damage done due to bee colonies. The honey drips in the walls and creates a huge mess. Walls need to be torn out and rebuilt and I surely don't want that to happen. And even though I'm not allergic to bee stings, I'd much rather not be stung, thank you very much.

Killer bees, here's your last warning. Not in my house!


Anonymous said...

Does this mean I have to stop buying my Honey Vanilla Ice Cream that benefits bees???
I hope you get the BAD bees out of there! I would hate to have the baby outside with those bad boogers!
Patti (nice socks bro!)

tina f. said...

Those aren't socks! Those are his boots! He's so stylin'...very oh eight (Oildalian)

Jenn said...

I hope you can get rid of them before they attack poor person walking by not knowing they are there.