Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Bee Our Guest

Our friends Pat and Bud recently had an unusual experience that I thought made a nice topic for this entry, so this is a guest entry....

About a month ago, we noticed hundreds of bees dancing around the south side of our house. By night, we could hear them buzzing in our wall.

Sure enough, an entire colony of bees had discovered a tiny crack between the fireplace chimney and the house, and had invaded the wall as an ideal place for a hive. Within hours some had also found a way into the living room. We have a pest control service that sprays the perimeter of the house, so these bees apparently had to go through a spray zone on their way into the house, and were dying as they entered. Nevertheless, it’s disconcerting to wake up and find about a hundred dead bees in the living room and kitchen. Every. Morning.

I did NOT know there is a bee recovery team in Davis (see The guy in the middle of the photo was the one who worked with us.) And thank god there is.

Well, removal involves using a stethoscope on the drywall in your house to find the area of loudest activity. And cutting through the drywall IN your house rather than trying to locate the colony through Hardiboard or removing outside siding is the way to go. 

So we were shooed out of the house for four hours while they cut a big hole in the wall over the fireplace and removed the queen into a while box — and the most of the rest of the bees followed her out the door. The team also removed a honeycomb (see photo) the bees had developed in the three weeks they lived with us. Everything ON the wall had to be removed along with moving proximate furniture. 

Still had bees in the house a good five days after the recovery team left, but they seem to be gone (or dead) by now. Our contractor is coming over Tuesday to repair the drywall and paint the wall .

We have learned a lot about Davis honeybees, including the fact that these are a docile breed. You find a live one on your shirt, you just gently pick it up by the sides and carry it to an exit that has sunlight on it, and they will fly out that door when you let it go — no stinging involved. Yup, not a single sting to us or the crew. We learned to share our abode with an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 bees for a month. I’d prefer not to use that knowledge again in the future, but…you know…..

I would have liked to have kept the hive in our yard, but the yard guy is afraid of them and refused to go into the back yard until after the bees had been removed. Understandably. Not to mention they would be next to the deck.

And so endeth (I hope) this month’s saga

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