Home > Post A Week 2012 > Besieged by Bees

Besieged by Bees

Our neighbors probably think we’re crazy. I had a roaring fire in our fireplace. Flames were flickering as it became more and more intense. Outside the smoke billowed into the beautiful blue sky. Sounds idyllic doesn’t it? Perfect for roasting s’mores or marshmallows or hotdogs. Sitting around all warm around the fire. The problem is, it was yesterday, July 1.

My refuge, my place of solace, my hidden happiness room is my living room where I sit with the French doors wide open catching the breeze while writing, or in yesterday’s case, doing a little bit of sewing. I noticed a steady hum from the door. When I investigated I saw a couple of bees inside of the screen door. I took care of the problem (for those who are bee lovers or bee fans, I won’t go into the gory details) and vacuumed up the dead bodies. Thinking my problem was solved, I went back to my sewing task, only to be alerted to another buzzing sound of bees. How were they getting into the house?

Although I do respect bees, I don’t want to live with them. I have been stung twice, and I didn’t look forward to an infestation of bees that might sting me to death in my bed. When I went outside to find out where the bees were coming from, I saw it. Like a scene from a Hitchcock movie, the bees were gathering at the top of our bright, white chimney, creating a cap of dark little dots, with more joining the group with every passing moment.

A bee expert advised us to burn the fireplace to disperse our new neighbors so that they’re not encouraged to set up house in our chimney. Had this been December, the thought of a crackling fire would have sounded cozy. But in July, it’s already hot enough without the added heat of a fire. Desperate–and in my case, very much afraid–we took the bee expert’s advice seriously.

Outside the French doors I could watch the bees’ frantic activity. I hoped there wouldn’t be too many casualties, but I hoped it also sent a message that this house is only big enough for one Queen Bee.

In honor of the bees that perished in yesterday’s bee battle, here are some interesting facts about bees:

-A beehive in summer can have as many as 50,000 to 80,000 bees. A bee must collect nectar from about 2 million flowers to make 1 pound of honey. It requires 556 worker bees to gather a pound of honey. Bees fly more than once around the world to gather a pound of honey.

-The average worker bee makes about 1/12 th of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.

-Honeybees are the only insects that produce food for humans.

-If a worker bee uses her stinger, she will die.

And a little morbid humor from the Bee Movie:

Barry B. Benson: How about a suicide pact?
Vanessa: How do we do it?
Barry B. Benson: I’ll sting you, you step on me.
Vanessa: That just kills you twice.
[If the male bee (drone) has no stinger, how does this joke work?]

Bee facts from http://www.ontariobee.com

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