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.