So I was swimming around the pool naked last week and noticed about six zillion bees flying in and out of one of the planters on the deck. They were wearing what appeared to be small jackets of the color yellow. I couldn’t tell what type of bees they were, but I noticed that the horizontal stripes on their jackets made them look fat, so I scoffed at their undeveloped sense of style.
Then I realized in a panic that being naked, they could sting virtually EVERY part of my body! Making body parts swell to THREE TIMES their normal sizes! So I wandered over much closer. It turns out as I looked at their faces that nothing could disgust them more than seeing me naked, and they avoided me like the plague. They seemed very busy; they were flying in and out of that planter with a sense of purpose. I couldn’t guess what that purpose was, but they were clearly not interested in me, even though yellowjackets are reputed to be very aggressive and predatory. There were minding their own beeswax.
Still, the situation seemed dangerous, especially right by the pool. If you are not even allowed to run by the pool, think of the extra peril added by this situation: What if a small baby walked up to our house, jumped over the fence, got stung by the bees, fell into the pool and drowned? What if an adult, weakened by trying to swim in the pool less than 30 minutes after eating, was stung to death? What if they flew into and clogged up my BRAND NEW pool filter? Any of these, or even worse, all of them happening on the same day would be tragic. Clearly I needed to address the situation.
With a delicious sneer on my face, I doused the entire area with Raid Wasp & Hornet spray. Well actually, I also doused our side door and one of our lounge chairs with it, since the first minute or so the can was faced the wrong way. We have never had a bee problem on our side door or lounge chairs, and I’m fine with keeping up that perfect record. I waited 15 minutes or so, laughing diabolically, until one of the neighbors told me to shut up.
It didn’t slow the bees down one visible iota. I sprayed again and again. And again the neighbor told me to stop with the laughing. This time it was not me laughing, it was the bees.
I heard somewhere that bees don’t like smoke, and true enough I have never seen any bee smoking, so I set up my trusty Off Mosquito Coils in an ash tray right next to the nest, and lit them up. I fell asleep for about half an hour, and when I woke up, the bees were still there and the ashtray was broken into 20 pieces. This made me not a little frightened, because they seemed to have little regard for my personal property. I checked all the other ashtrays and china in the house to see if they had broken anything else.
I took to standing in the pool and spraying them individually with Raid Flying Insect Killer. I must have sprayed five hundred bees individually (It’s possible I sprayed the same one five hundred times). Not a thing. I thought I caught some of them yelling things at me on the way by. One of them called me a “drone.” One did a feint and roll, as if it were dying, then just laughed and sped away.
I considered spraying the nest with pepper spray, but the fact is I don’t want to waste it, since I keep it in the closet in case a recipe calls for hot pepper and I don’t have any on hand.
I considered befriending them, maybe even making a “beard of bees” out of them, or possibly just sideburns. They didn’t show any interest in my face at all.
I researched them online, and printed out instructions for an “Eco-Friendly Yellowjacket Trap.” You cut a two inch hole in a plastic 2-liter soda bottle, fill it with eco-friendly dishwashing liquid (bees hate doing the dishes), then smear jelly and jam around the sides of the hole. The bees are attracted to the jelly, climb into the hole, then drown in a sea of sorrows en masse. First of all, when I cut the hole in the soda bottle I got Dr. Pepper all over my pants- the soda bottle should be empty first it turns out. After I was done, not one bee flew into my trap, and it wasn’t even eco-friendly, since I got angry and threw it about a mile into the woods.
I was just ready to try to find instructions for a “bunker-buster” bomb, like the ones they kept trying to use on Saddam Hussein, but just then my wife arrived with a spray guaranteed by the guy at the hardware store. It’s called triamethylchloraflorylhydroflummoxoline, or something just like that. I doused the entire area for about a two mile radius and haven’t seen any living thing now for about a week and a half. On the plus side, I think I also might have killed Saddam Hussein.
Incidentally, every winter the entire yellowjacket bee colony dies, with the exception of the queen. If you have a nest in your closet, and you see a queen there, well, just fill in your own joke I need a nap.
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