I had a bee problem


Ordinarily, I like bees. They fill an extremely important role in nature. And lately, we appear to be in a honey bee crisis. If I had property I would consider an apiary. But I don't.

My problem was that bees had taken over a small birdhouse that rests about six feet from my sit spot at my back patio. At first I thought it was interesting. I felt no threat. As the summer progressed I watched as more bees appeared and the hive started to emerge out the house opening.

Still no problem. Until one morning I went back to sit for a few moments and noticed a spider web, nicely backlit. Having only my iPhone I tried to make an interesting photo (and failed). In the course of this, I felt something on my nose, brushed at it, and it stung. On the tip of my freakin' nose. Ouch.

So, that was almost it. I was willing to forgive and forget. But a few days later I was hammering on the frame the birdhouse is attached to, attempting to fix a whirligig post and the bees started swarming out at me. I ran like I was 40.

Online research led me to believe these were not honey bees. In fact, it indicated that it could be the rogue African bees and cited several examples of such bees overtaking birdhouses.

Sadly, I chose the chemical solution. The first spraying, with "flying insect spray," was good for a few hours but the next evening I noticed they were still going in and out. I got some stuff intended for bees, the kind that sprays like Silly String for about 20 feet. It took two dosings. But the bees were gone.

The birdhouse, at this point was worthless, with a hive built inside. So the next nice evening suitable  for a fire I set the inactive house on the flames and watched it burn. As the sides fell away I could see an entire hive-like ball within it. Sigh.


A dose of my own medicine

For you techies, Nikon D7000, Nikon 300mm f2.8 with a 1.4x converter. On-camera flash for fill.In my photography class, I make it a point to tell students that if your file isn't backed up in at least two places, it doesn't exist.

I took the above photo the other night at my patio. It's a House Wren singing while perched on an old fan flash I have attached to a fence post. I'm working on an essay on my backyard, so I was very pleased to get this picture.

So I opened it on my laptop from the SD card (without importing the contents of the card), sized it and sent it to a few people to get some feedback.

The next morning I took the card and put it in my shirt pocket with the intention of taking it to the studio to save with similar photos. I also placed my iPhone, in a Speck case in the same pocket. I ran a few errands and when I got to the studio and reached for the card it was gone. Apparently the rubber edge of the phone case had grabbed it and pulled it out of my pocket at some point. D'oh!

I retraced my steps but no luck. So if you find a 16GB SD card in Westlake or Bay Village, Ohio with the intitials LTK on it, I'd appreciate it's return. I can offer a framed 8x10 of the image or cash if returned. I don't expect that to happen, but I did learn a hard lesson.