All hail the beekeeper!

Beard of BeesIt turns out the bees won’t be treated so humanely after all.

Back to that in a moment. First, I want to waste your time with a little narrative of this morning’s events.

The wildlife expert/beekeeper came out, took a look at the bees, said, “yep, there’s a lot of bees for ya,” and went back to his truck to don his beekeeper suit. Meanwhile I ran inside to grab my camera to snap some pictures before the bees got angry.

If there’s one thing I don’t like it’s angry bees. It turns out it was a good thing I didn’t try one of my infamous, half-baked, DIY, home fixer-upers the day before. While I was inside doing a little work, nursing my mucous back to good color, the beekeeper was making a discovery. My bees weren’t just any old bees. No sir! They were them aggressive types, those africanized bees.

Yes! I knew it! I knew I was special… somehow! How many of YOU can say you’ve got killer bees in your laundry room?

HAH! I didn’t think so.

It turns out they don’t tolerate the air conditioning well and die overnight, so they were pretty well contained to the laundry room – and a couple that found their way into the family room. Our family room is a converted garage, so the door is big, heavy, insulated, and tight fitting – or in this case: bee proof.

So now I just have to wait the 48 to 72 hours for the beekeeper’s magic dust to do its trick and make the bees go away. I’ll be home alone while Cheryl and the kids go to Orlando, nursing my cold – a lone sentinel against the insect threat.

Maybe I’ll go over to my parent’s house to do some laundry… for old time’s sake.

By the way, did you know it only costs $289 (flat rate) to have a licensed, insured, wildlife expert come out and relocate your honeybees, and treat point of entry/exit with a non-toxic substance which will discourage the bees from settling there again?

Did you know that they charge the same amount for exterminating africanized bees that I think our exterminator should do for no additional charge, under their existing contract?

Did you know that someone will be reading contracts and possibly making phone calls this weekend?

As I wait for the beekeeper

I came home early from work today – it was a gotta go situation. I was giving a training for a small group of volunteers doing a workshop this weekend and I was starting to lose my voice. My boss was in the group, and when I appeared in his office afterwards he simply said, “bye.”

I was at home sleeping, giving my body more energy to fight off invasion, when a familiar buzz woke me. It was the kind of buzz familiar to our race for many generations – likely thousands of years. It was the kind of buzz there may even be an evolutionary advantage to working as a fail-safe alarm clock.

There was a bee in the house.

I killed it and lay back down.

There was another bee in the house.

I killed it and lay back down.

There was another bee in the house.

I looked out the window.

There was a swarm on the other side.

“Holy crap!” Was my first thought.

“How the f— are they getting in here?” Was my second.

I went outside, near the window where I saw the bees. They were swarming near the electric meter.

“Click” That was my brain, as the gears snapped into place. Does your’s make noises like that? Maybe I should have mine checked.

It’s probably not a big surprise, but that’s where the electricity comes into the house. It’s where the main breaker is inside the house (in our laundry room), on the other side of the wall. It’s on the other side of a door from the window where the bees kept appearing.

So I went back inside and slowly cracked open the laundry room door… and found A LOT MORE BEES.


That’s when I called our exterminator.

“I’ve got a problem with bees in our house.”

What kind of bees?

“They look like honeybees.”

They’re good for the environment. We can’t exterminate honeybees. You’ll have to find a beekeeper.

“Do you know where I can find a beekeeper?”

Check the Yellow Pages.

“You’re kidding, right?”

No. I’m not kidding.

Since we don’t get a phone book anymore, I pulled up Superpages online.

The first number I called was disconnected.

The second number I called went straight to an anonymous voicemail (no greeting, just the operator reciting the phone number). I didn’t leave a message.

The third listing had a web address.

“Oooo, now we’re getting somewhere! Why didn’t I check these folks out first?” This time I actually got an honest to goodness human being. I was so shocked I forgot why I was calling.

“What is it you guys do again?”

Are you ok sir?

“Never mind. I’m having a problem with bees… honeybees in the house.”

Long story short, I made an appointment for this evening with a licensed wildlife expert to safely relocate our honeybees… unless they were the Africanized variety – in which case they would exterminate them (and I would curse Terminix for their apparent cowardice).

Then I called Cheryl with the news, and she freaked out even more than I thought. You see she’s allergic to bee stings, so I knew that would freak her out. But I committed what turns out was tantamount to a mortal sin by not committing the guy’s name to memory (I’m terrible with names).

There’s a professional relationship I can’t explain involving multiple stints in jail – with a dude who was a beekeeper (and just so you know, it was the beekeeper who served time in the pokey).

So Cheryl was a little nervous being around for several reasons.

As it turns out we’d planned to go to Orlando this weekend to stay at my sister’s place, in part to go to a birthday party. So Cheryl packed the kid’s stuff a day early, albeit in grocery bags, since the luggage was in the bee’s room at the moment, and headed over to her parent’s place to spend the night. Only now I’m not sure I’m going – you know, the whole sick thing. Then there’s poor Beth. She’s been moaning about wanting to throw-up for the last few hours, so who knows what her status will be.

This has been a classic evening, and I’m still here. Sick. Waiting for the beekeeper – and possible ex-felon. Come on, how unlikely is that last sentence? No matter what side of the fence you’re sitting on, that’s gotta make you chuckle a little, right?

…and he just called. The bees in St. Petersburg (the other end of the county, an hour’s drive away, at sundown) are keeping him longer than expected. He thinks it would be best to reschedule for the morning, when the bees would be more active.

It doesn’t matter much to me. I figured I’d be home sick anyway.

Bees! Go to your room!