My friend has built a little Eden in her suburb: fruit trees, chickens, flower gardens, swimming pool etc. Recently, wild animals are taking over this oasis of green in the relentless drought of the area: crows eat the figs; rabbits eat the greens; coyotes eat the rabbits, her pets and chickens; wild ducks use her swimming pool as a spa; and oh yes, parrots, squirrels, rats and chipmunks are there in abundance. My friend tolerates these wild things. However, a recent invasion created FEAR!
By Guest Blogger, Leslie Gislason
As I drove up the driveway I noticed a large black blob on my chimney. It registered, but not as a threat.
However, as I walked through the living room I noticed something moving on the carpet. Then I saw something drop onto the sofas. LIVE BEES! Suddenly, the “black blob” was a threat. I’m deathly allergic to bees. HELP! It was time to call Bee Busters!
Shortly, there was a knock and I opened the door to a strange little man, dressed in scruffy overalls, and wearing his baseball cap backwards. This is Bee Busters?
I checked out his vehicle – no Bee Buster sign on the cab door. No bee equipment that I could see, only a rickety-looking wooden ladder. Still, he was here and I needed help. So I left him to it and returned to empty the dishwasher.
I was still in the kitchen when he came back to the door. Surprised I blurted out rather too brusquely: “You’re finished”?
“Oh yeh,” he said, nonchalantly – like who are you to question me lady!” All done!”
“So what did you do?” My voice was skeptical!
“Oh,” he said, “I picked up the queen bee and stuck her onto the inside wall of my truck cab. Her girls followed.”
Remember, he had no netting on his head, no gloves, and no smoker!
“You mean you have a bee swarm on the inside of your truck cab,” I gasped – positive I had misheard him. “So what do you do with the swarms you collect over the week?” I asked in amazement.
“I put all the queen bees on the inside of my cab and their girls join them. Then I drive 4 hours north to the Central Valley where I have beehives ready for them in the orchards.”
Still incredulous, I tried to imagine him speeding down the interstate with swarms of bees on and in his truck. “Gee,” I said, “I wouldn’t want to be a policeman pulling you over.”
A tiny smile twitched at he corner of his mouth. “Yeh, well they all know me. Say, how long have the bees been in your chimney?”
I hadn’t honestly noticed so I made a guess, “Oh, about a week.”
He shook his shaggy head. “No honey, many weeks! I got 60 pounds of honey from your chimney. Don’t get to give you any though. That honey’s full of soot.”
Some of the “girls” were out working when Mr. Bee Buster left. They arrived back to the chimney to find no one home. Slowly over that week they gave up and died. No Queen Bee, no community, no hive.