Thursday, June 27, 2013

To Bee or Not to Bee

The real question is, what kind of bee?

There is always some new form of wildlife free loading on or in or under my house.  Recently I was watching the bees build their nest under my eave.  Quite fascinating from inside the window.  All the while I thought they were the honey bees from last year - who built under the house and came and went without much notice.
I didn't realize these were yellow jackets until they had built a nest the size of a space ship and surely outnumbered New York in population.

I did a couple of quick videos to document the construction, which looked something like the work of the Winchester House in California - and I am sure they heard the same voice "keep building!".

Here I filmed them from the outside of the house to show the entrance.

In the next clip I filmed it from inside the house looking out the window.

It is a difficult call to make for a person who doesn't even kill spiders.  I believe all things are from one energy - one source of life.  I'm a bit of a Pantheist, or Animist, or some combination of the two.  

So far I have managed to coexist with all of the wondrous creatures here, whether it be squirrels running across the roof, or a family of raccoons under the house.
Any indoor intruders are captured and returned to nature, unharmed.

But the truth of it was, these bees had to go.  I had visions of them swallowing up the house and taking me with them, in some form of a black hole void made of gray paper!  I can see the Inquirer headlines now;  "New Pioneer swallowed by bee hive" lends a whole new twist to the phrase of "leave no trace"!!

I did my usual internet search and sent out a few SOS emails to friends for help or advice.  Fortunately my friend Harry, a retired park ranger, knew just what to do.  First he inspected the crime scene and told me of his return mission that night.  He would sneak up on them in the dark and spray them with the deadly gas.

Oddly, I had no thoughts or feeling of remorse as I went to sleep that evening, having every confidence in the return of Harry 007.  I figured if the mission failed, his screams from stinging bees would surely wake me. 

In the morning there was a deafening silence at the scene of the holocaust.  I did feel a little guilty, but mostly relieved that no humans were harmed.
There were four yellow jackets left, surveying the area, and Harry thinks they were out partying when the invasion took place.  

I waited a few days and could see those last four had new recruits and were already rebuilding the nest.  I was pretty sure I could handle it and sprayed the remaining nest the following morning about 5 am - even before my coffee.  Later, as instructed, I hosed the rest of it down. 

So it was me who put the final nail in the coffin and I just don't know if I still deserve the title of a New Pioneer.  Surely there are lost brownie points for this one.  But honestly, I just cannot see the benefit of yellow jackets on the house.  Perhaps their relatives can rebuild out in the woods.

Back to square one, New Pioneer 101.


  1. Sometimes you've just got to do what you've got to do. We had aggressive bees (not honey bees) eat right into our living room ceiling. That's when we had to use the poison. It was us or them! Good call, Jeni, you New Pioneer, you! xo Jennifer

    1. Oh Jennifer! I am SO sorry that happened!! I was relieved mine didn't get in the house - but were very close to the front door! Yep, when we coexist so closely with nature, sometimes we have to draw boundaries. Thanks for visiting!! :)


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