Thursday, July 1, 2010


Yesterday was an interesting ride. I was late to work in the morning because I went outside and noticed that my pumpkins, which had been flowering, had been flowering. . . more. Like, a lot more. I've been worried that they would flower and then not pollinate ( which means no pumpkins) because I haven't seen very many bees around our yard lately, and I made an idle hope-- against the rest of myself, speaking as one who has been getting progressively worse and worse reactions to bee stings over the last few years-- that more bees would come visit our yard and pollinate my vines. Then I got a stick and scraped pollen off the male flowers and rubbed it around inside the female flowers, hoping that some bees would visit and do the job properly during the day. This is probably the silliest reason I've ever been late to work but these pumpkins have consumed me. I am determined to have beautiful, plump, orange and white pumpkins (that I grew myself) at our wedding.

The rest of the day didn't get much better after I was late. I had family stress (resolved), wedding stress (also eventually resolved), work stress (who doesn't?), and road-rage stress. Some guy nearly rear-ended me on the way home during a sudden stop in traffic, and then proceeded to tail-gate me while I was slamming on my brakes AND trying to give him more room to stop and avoid an accident. Once the tangle cleared up he then came around and cut me off-- on purpose. Luckily, I think I made him more mad than he made me, and I managed to avoid an accident, but, seriously, dude?

And then I got home, which is usually my sanctuary.

I did my usual I'm-home routine, which involves parking the car in the garage, going inside, greeting the cats, checking for things they've destroyed, cleaning up said destruction, putting the mess on the back porch, and then going to check on my bunny and water my plants. I've been letting the bunny run around in the backyard while I water lately, so I got her out and went to go put on her harness and leash (bright pink, so I can find her, and long, so I can catch her when she doesn't want to be caught). I was snuggling and baby-talking her just by her cage and idly looking out the back window when I noticed something rather terrifying just outside.

Does anyone else remember those made-for-TV movies from the late 90's or so about killer bees?

Yeah. I was in my early teens at the time, and my mom has this weird fascination with bees, so we watched all of them. There was more than one, or maybe the same one several times, I don't remember. All I know is that I've been unreasonably terrified of any situation involving bees + houses since then. And it looked like our back porch was filled with them.

They can't have been there long. Either that or I am really that oblivious, as only a few minutes before I had put a towel out on the back porch and had not been stung, swarmed, or killed. But now it seemed like there were hundreds, swarming around the gutter just a few feet from the back door.

Once I got WF safely inside on his arrival home, we assessed the situation. It appeared we were in some trouble: they were not just passing through. I've been through swarms before, and these bees weren't acting like they were just hanging out. They were acting like they were moving in.

I sat by the back window and watched them for a good while. They kept coming and hitting the glass, trying to get to me and the cats, which led me to believe that they may be of the more aggressive variety, and cemented my resolve to not go anywhere near them. I fretted a little about not being able to water my beautiful pumpkin vines and check on the few strawberries I have growing. But I fretted more about the bees, and therefore stayed indoors.

I put tape over the tiny pressure-flap we have in our back window and checked the cracks around our doors out of sheer paranoia-- and thanked my stars we don't have an attic. Those movies have made me less than rational when it comes to bees. Turbo, of course (gray cat), immediately un-taped the window in his attempts at catching one of the Fun Bugs that kept hitting the glass. Now I know who not to trust in the event of a zombie apocalypse. (Though to be fair, Turbo was already my first choice. He just totally seems like the one that would let them in the house, you know?)

This morning WF managed to sneak outside and water for me while the hive/ swarm was still asleep. He said it was eerie because he only noticed when he was coming back INTO the house that the back walls had sleeping bees all over them, too.

We called a bee service, and they are coming out in an hour or so to give us an estimate, and I'm hoping it will be rather painless.

Part of me wants to be able to water my plants and exercise my bunny, and part of me is just sad that the bees came when I asked them to, just. . . not in the right place. Sorry, bees. And Universe, please don't take me so literally next time.


  1. I think they used our civil engineering building in 1998 or so for one of those made for TV movies. I remember it being blocked off for a few days so they could should their "evil government lab" scene -- not sure which movie it was, or if it even got released.

  2. *hugs* That'd be really freaky. I can only imagine what you're going through right now. Hope the service doesn't charge you too much for it all.

  3. Shouldn't they move the bees for free....a lot of people want bees, don't they?

    A guy in Encinitas was killed a few weeks ago by killer bees....yikes!

    I love your pumpkin patch. I think there is a story in there about the princess who will not get married until the pumpkin grows big enough....


  4. I hate bees! I know they're here for a reason, but seriously, why do they have to sting. Anyway, I hope you get the problem taken care of and that your pumpkins turn out great.

  5. Bane-- wouldn't be surprised. There were dozens and dozens of those-- still are, in fact. The now-monickered "SyFy" channel (gag) is constantly making really, really awful movies much like the killer bee ones. It's an art, really.

    Stephanie-- it was more expensive than we thought. *Gulp*. But at least they're gone now. I think. The guy still hasn't called me back to tell me they're gone... hope he's okay...

    Storyqueen-- yeah, I thought of that too. But no, even the retrieval services charge an arm and a leg-- AND they take up to several WEEKS to get the bees out and don't actually remove the hive. So unfortunately it's extermination for us. I lobbied for retrieval but was outvoted.

    Susan-- Thank you-- I am SO excited about these pumpkins. I'll have another post on them on the Archives soon-- probably Monday.

  6. Storyqueen-- that should be, they don't remove the honeycomb, which if left untouched will attract more bees and can damage your house. :(

    I also forgot to mention that I love that story idea :) You should write it!

  7. My husband hates bees. HATES.

    I'm sad because my pumpkin croaked. But I just had the first yellow squash from the greenhouse today- it was scrumptious!

  8. I think you may have a superpower involving the power to summon animals. You just need to run into some old wise person to train you how to channel them. :)

  9. Do you live in San Diego?? If yes, we have a GREAT bee lady. We've had probs with bees taking up residence in our Cox cable box! Here's my post about that and the bee lady's contact info is in that post too!

  10. Wow. What an incredibly vivid and terrifying tale. Though, honestly, I think I'd rather encounter a wall full of sleeping bees than a wall full of scurrying roaches. I'm just sayin'...

    P.S. Despite decent weather in northern Michigan this summer, our garden doesn't seem to be doing too well. Sniff, sniff. But, nonetheless, I sure hope your pumpkins are thriving in time for the impending nuptials!

    P.P.S. I'm with you, by the way, in regards to "SyFy" - what a ridiculous new name. I call the network "SeeFee" now in protest.

  11. Passed a little award on to you. Details are in my blog.