Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Bee Gone

My buddy Bob from Virginia e-mailed me that he feels like life has him caught in a loop right now.

I can sympathize.

It seems like I do the same things over and over, from changing the light bulbs that burn out, to fixing the loose floor tiles in the bathroom, to dealing with clogged drains in the basement, to putting air in my bike tires, etc., etc., etc.

Here's a recent story to illustrate . . .

Our mailman left our mail tied in a bundle at our front door with a note one day. Either get rid of the bees that were nesting hear our mail slot, he wrote, or else no mail delivery. We had never noticed them before but we checked and, sure enough, there were these tiny bees merrily flitting in and out of our evergreen bush next to the house.

Time to get medieval on the insect world. I emptied two cans of that foamy hornet and wasp killer on that bush. The next day the bees were still merrily flitting in and out of the bush as before. Not only didn't my spraying not kill them, it didn't even seem to p!#s them off.

Mess with Big Dave, will ya? I browsed hardware stores, home and garden centers and the outdoors section of big department stores. Read the labels on a dozen insecticides. Ironically, not one stated that it killed bees. The label might say that it killed 180 other insects includings wasps, hornets, aphids, mites, and mealy worms. But nothing about bees.

So I settled on a bottle that attached to my garden hose. It said it killed scorpions. Certainly, it would do a number on my bees. I sprayed and sprayed, soaking everything within 15 feet of my mail slot. The bee activity subsided. Success, I thought.

But soon our mail was tied in a bundle again and placed next to the door. They were back. This time I sprayed directly into a small opening among the evergreen branches which the bees used as some kind of open air highway. Next day I was peering into the opening, checking for activity, when a couple bees circled around my head and disappeared into the opening as if saying, "Excuse me, neighbor."

Now there seemed to be more bees than ever before in my bush. It's like there was a party in there. Maybe they all were getting high on the insecticide fumes. Heck, I want to kill them, not get them dangerously addicted.

Oddly, they don't seem to harbor any grudge against me. I've known some nasty bees. Like those mafia hit bees that chase you out of your garden with, "Whatcha think yer doin'? Get otta here." Or even worse, those wasps that seem to come after you if you just switch to country music on your portable radio outside.

My bees haven't bothered me or my wife. Why they're terrorizing the mailman I don't know. Maybe they're like your territorial house dog in that regard. Hmmmmmmmm. Maybe I could say they were pet bees. Think the mailman would buy it?


Anonymous jan said...

Heh. Sounds like that new strain of watchbees I've been hearing about.

1:32 PM  
Blogger Carine said...

we had bees once-vector control told us to call a beekeeper. took them for free! I would have paid.

Dave, I'm so proud-check out my site-with a pro's help, I've done something phenomenal!!!

7:05 PM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Dave, I'm with Carine, call a bee keeper OR move the mail box.

3:18 PM  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

This is indeed a mystery. Maybe they're mechanical, having escaped from some mad scientist's lab. In this case, what you need is not bug killer but duct tape.

3:42 PM  
Blogger Matty said...

I used to be a mail-carrier many years ago...in the city...and I had to warn people to please remove snow & ice from their steps and I did carry Mace for the dogs.
No problem with dogs. I always had dog cookies....but ice was treachorous on steel stairways...so I know how they feel. Never had a problem with bee's!
Great post..sorry but I did have a good laugh!

12:00 AM  
Blogger Spidey said...

Bees don't bother anyone unless you are aggressively swatting them. I have slapped away many bees that were buzzing by and have never been bitten. Bees provide an important function to society (pollination) and there is currently a major problem with bees dying from pollution or unknown causes.

Mailman are Union workers, and while Unions are great for wages, they tend to inflate egos in the some of the small-minded members. I have seen Mail Carriers who walk around with the can of mace in their hand to spray dogs that jump at them through the fence when they are putting the mail in the box. They know the dog will recover before the owners' get home, so it is a free way to get back at the world. Are the bees attacking the Mail-man?

Write a letter to the local Postmaster and tell him that you have a few bees and they have not bitten anyone and you want your mail delivered as is required by law, not pursuant to the dictates of a postal employee. Stand up for your bees. They are your tenants, after all, and maybe they were put there to fight global warming or to protect you from burglars.

7:36 AM  
Blogger Spidey said...

BTW, let me add that of all the Postal Workers that I have ever met, the Letter Carriers are by far the nicest. They do a hard job walking around in the sun all day, and I am sure when they are hot and sweaty they don't like dogs barking at them and bess buzzing them. It is not an easy job, but like every job there are some people who are great at it and some people who need to switch to Union Steward where they can lay around in the back and sleep all day.

7:39 AM  
Anonymous Terri said...

LOL..hmm, have a feeling the mailman won't buy that story!
I had a similar problem before I moved here with my mailbox, but whatever we used...think it was wasp spray...did get rid of them.
And NOW....we go downtown to the PO to pick up our mail in our postal box. Much safer.

2:12 PM  
Blogger WordWhiz said...

Great story! I'm sorry, but I have no good advice. I think the "pet bees" idea is awesome, even though it would probably mean that you'd be picking your mail up at the post office.

3:45 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I agree with Spidey. Bee-killing is illegal around here (okay, when I say "around here", I mean the confines of my home and property)! The other day at work I spent 15 minutes trying to catch a bee and put it outside, when I could've killed it in one second. I love bees, and I've been stung in the past! As Spidey said, they are responsible for the pollenation of all the wonderful flowers we see each day.

Call the beekeeper. Move the mailbox. Or, you can go to the local library and find out what attracts bees...maybe you can place whatever that is elsewhere in your yard so they'll move!

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Deb said...

Hehe. Great post Dave1 I do know bees are attracted to different types of colognes more than they are to others--so that could be a factor with the mailman. Also some types of hair gels, shampoos and sprays are bee magnets.

Like everyone else, I've never had an problems with bees. It's obvious they're not the Africanized "killer" type, so I'd move the mailbox or call the keeper.

11:29 AM  
Blogger Kacey said...

Call your friendly pest control guy. This is the time of year that yellowjackets make pests of themselves. Where you see one --- there are at least 100 more in that little hole. We had them on our horse farm and they crawled under a brick ledge on the exterior of the house and made a huge nest inside the wall. I put my ear against the wall and could hear them humming (growling)--- it sounded like a bowling alley. The pest control people puffed some yellow powder into the entry hole with a big ear syringe and loads of them came out with yellow feet. Within a day or so all noise was gone. But, if we had not killed the nest, the bees could have munched their way right into the house through the dry wall. All your spraying is not going to move them as long as their queen remains in residence.

2:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:30 PM  
Blogger Trucker Bob said...

After getting through that last comment I've forgotten what I was going to say. Oh, wait, I remember...

How ya doin Big Guy? Going to try to not be so much of a stranger.

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice spam up there. I had bees too, but this fall I'm ripping out all of the flowers and that should make them go somewhere else, I hope!

12:12 AM  
Anonymous vicki said...

As usual, Hoss has come up with an intriguing notion. But really, leave the bees alone. Or at least find out what kind they are. If they are by any chance honey bees, definitely keep them as pets. Worth their weight in gold.

Now, the other reason I'm here is to, ahem, see if Ms. Bonnie has been by with some snide comment yet- after an upset like that, it's never too soon. Why, you can already buy it on DVD on google. Really. Hoss would say this is what scientists call "too bad."

5:40 PM  
Blogger Kacey said...

Dear Dave----Appalacian State from Boone, N.C.? You kidding us or is Michigan drinking Boone Farm again? I know this has nothing to do with your post, but it just has "Big Dave" written all over it! Sorry Dave.

6:30 AM  
Blogger Babette said...

Sounds like you have a bee in your bonnet today. With your love of country music, perhaps you should consider switching to a certain ol' West Virginny team. We SPARTANS have more classical tastes but I enjoy making up country song titles such as "You Bee Lyin' 'Bout Them Wolverines" or "Stand Bee Your SPARTAN" or "A Bee Named MSU" or "Better Bee a SPARTAN Afore Its Too Late."

Here are some authentic suggestions for your playlist:

Drop Kick Me Jesus Through The Goal Posts Of Life

That "It's All Over" Feeling All Over Again

I Got Tears In My Ears From Lying On My Bed Crying On My Pillow Over U.

Hog Sloppin' Time in the (U.of Appalaccia) Hollow

Cow Cow Boogie - Moo Moo My Love (my personal favorite)

There's always last year, Dave!

3:01 PM  
Blogger Beverly said...

Hi, thanks for stopping by. Yes, that game two years ago was robbed by Michigan over Penn State. Yes, the Nittany Lions lost last year, and yes, we realize that Michigan will be on fire for the rest of the year. I do feel bad for those seniors who came back to finish the job.

I have LOVED the comments between you and Vicki and Babette. I'm a Floridian, but I didn't go to school in the state, and I've never formed a loyalty to either the Gators or Seminoles. Now USF is an upcoming school.

When my son decided to go to Penn State, I became a Lions fan. However, I don't have the history there that you all do in Michigan.

I'm listening to a talk show right now where they're talking about Lloyd Carr needing to be fired.

I'm sure that you'll continue your winning streak this next week. I'll be back.

I'm just now noticing Bonnie's comment above. I must leave now and go read it.

9:37 AM  
Blogger Lee said...

Your bees sound a lot like my bees here, Dave. I poke my head around the plants in my garden, particularly when I'm picking some rosemary...the bees never worry about me. I've not been stung once, other than a couple of weeks ago...and that was purely an accident as I stood on a bee on the ground. I think bees are too busy going about their own business most of the time to worry about us mere humans. Tell the postie he's a big sook!

2:20 PM  
Blogger Babette said...

I apologize to the Appalachian State Mountaineers for calling them U. of Appalachia and for thinking they were from Virginia! How is it possible to have never heard of the school that burned down the Big House?

"Michigan Who? 34-32."
~message on tee shirts already for sale in Boone, North Carolina, home of the not-soon-to-be-forgotten Appalachian State Mountaineers

2:27 PM  

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