Summer of the Bees

It took them three days to infiltrate my bedroom. Or at least thats how long it took me to notice.

One day I came home and there were four. The next day I came home to find roughly a dozen. The day after that, nearly fifty.

Honey Bees.

My room was filling up with honey bees. They were all dying in my room, buzzing at my window sill trying to escape. They had found their way in, and had no way out.

Bees?! 

I fought them for a week.

I found the hole by which they were coming through the wall. It was crawling with bees, but it was small. I couldn’t patch a hole with bees present. I had heard you could smoke them out. I cleared the area of everything flammable, except the wall itself, and set out a candle. Just a few inches from the base of the hole, the bees didn’t leave. Though I’m not surprised, they burned. The hole cleared, as some crawled back into the wall. Most of them fell, sizzling into the hot wax of the candle.

Leaving the candle lit near by, I patched the hole.

Masking Tape and Tin Foil.

Bees?!

From outside my house, they had two holes. Second story roof eaves, swarmed with hundreds of tiny honey bees, clinging to the outer wall of my one hundred and thirty year old house.

Brilliant. 

Thus began the battle of research and questionnaires.

The internet tells me they migrated in from somewhere else, and might migrate again next year, though it’s unlikely.

The internet tells me you can control an entire bee hive, by capturing its queen, though you need professional help.

The professional says, from in a house, you take apart the wall. hunt for the queen, one board at a time. The queen does not want to be found. She burrows into the wall further and further, to avoid being caught. Surprise! Your house is one hundred and thirty years old. There is no “hunt for the queen one board at a time”.

I would no longer have a house.

My Father did his part.

He brought me a can of bee killing spray.

Like I’m supposed to stand outside my house, on the roof of my front porch, and shoot bees with a poisonous squirt gun, until i think i have killed them all. And then go outside and do it again the next day.

First off,

No.

Secondly,

I don’t even like killing things, insects or not.

so Thirdly,

No.

::Parallel Story::

I arrive at my parents country home and park in the dirt alongside their steep driveway. Running up the retired railway tie staircase toward their front door, I realize I left something in my car.

Turning around I run back down. I get into my car, find what i was missing, and return over the stairs a third time.

Bees?!

From the ground beneath the old shaky wooden staircase, swarm a large number of bees.

Yellow Jackets, to be precise.

Quickly realizing: I’m being assaulted! I run. Luckily, I make it inside the front door, having only been stung three times.

A welt the size of my open hand begins to form instantly on my inner thigh, as i am dismayed to find two yellow jackets still buzzing in my obnoxiously thick dark hair.

Twice more.

My mother, bless her heart, laughed.

They were dance moves she had never seen before.

I am not allergic, and I have a high pain tolerance. So the next week was nothing more than strenuous itching, and a massive headache. A swollen leg, and four large knots on the two sides of my aching skull.

Yellow Jackets.

I got home that day in extreme pain, looking up at the second story eave of my own home.

Honey Bees.

::Back to the Bees::

Weeks went by with no more bees inside my room. On the outside however, they were numerous. My neighbor, a very polite, middle-aged man, whom i have nothing in common with, made a point to knock on my door and tell me, in short:

“Hey, umm. Bees”.

Bees?!

Yes. A very astute observation, Tony, thank you.

I grew attached to these bees, as I made no effort to get rid of them.

Like, maybe by some miracle, they will just leave; or somehow cease to exist.

My only thought and prayer was as follows:

I don’t want to kill these bees. I believe You have given me the spirit within me, to not want to kill these bees. However, I cannot have them here. They cannot stay. Please, do something about them, for I myself, will not make any effort at harming them.

Sometimes,

the craziest things happen,

when you just Ask.

Three days later. Bees. In the room down the hall. My roommate tried to tell me, like I didn’t already know.

“Yes. I know. They were in my room too. They’re honey bees, they’re in the wall. They have been there for weeks.”

“No, I know about the honey bees. These are wasps, I promise you”.

Two days later, they were in my room too.

Wasps.

Or hornets? Yellow jackets? Large, scary, evil-looking, yellow striped, flying insects that like to sting you? I don’t know the technical term, but now my house has two bee problems. Honey bees in the wall, and somewhere in the ceiling (I suppose) a large group of wasps have decided to set up camp.

Or so I thought.

Yellow Jackets.

Yellow Jackets are carnivorous. They do not create honey, they eat meat. They are technically speaking, not bees. They are wasps.

Yellow Jackets are those annoying little buggers, that like to eat the chicken off your plate at the park, when you gather for your friends barbecue.

Yellow Jackets swarm the dead animal in the field, as its prepared for the worms, and eventually the soil.

Yellow Jackets get stuck in your hair, after you run across their nest, and leave their mark, for weeks to come, as you fight off the migraine that never ends.

Yellow Jackets… eat Honey Bees.

Yes, it’s true.

Summer turns to fall, and animals go dormant. Humans pack up their family picnics, and the neighbors’ cat is kept inside for much longer periods of time.

Yellow Jackets eat Honey Bees!

Bees finish up their farming for the summer, and begin to pack up. Wasps run out of meat and scraps to scavenge, so they steal. They invade a hive, kill the bees, kidnap the larvae, and eat the nest.

They leave nothing behind.

The Yellow Jackets were in my house for a week, before leaving, and they have not returned since. The Honey Bees have not shown their face since the Wasps came through, and I don’t think winter has anything to do with their silence.

Yellow Jackets eat Honey Bees.

I had no logical way of dealing with the bees. I had no desire to kill the bees.

I made my request known, I had faith, and the problem was dealt with.

Now, months later, I am left with nothing more than a gaping hole in the wall, behind the boards that make up my bedroom.

But luckily for me, it was already there..

Seeing how my house, is one hundred and thirty years old.

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