I had noticed one bee buzzing around the outdoor cabinets on my deck. I opened the cabinet, but only the start of a paper wasp nest. Took it off and threw it away. The last time a few bees were around I just sprayed the cabinets with the Deet I had left over from the trip down the Amazon; tried it but the can was finished. And I never have any poison around, as I usually live and let live.
(Except for the invasion of the ants. This is the fourth in the ant series:
https://notesfromthewest.wordpress.com/2014/12/19/rain-3/, but it mentions the poison that worked.)
Backstory: When I was living in South Carolina, my ex- had moved out of the house and it was on the market. The real estate agent called and said that the bees on the deck were scaring the potential buyers. I think he may have mentioned bees before, but hadn’t given it a thought. The problem he now said was that a storm had blow the far cabinet door off and the bees had built a hive. Don’t know why he didn’t call the ex-, as he was living in Tucson, but figured I had to deal with it.
Looked online, found a bee removal service, called them and was told that no, they didn’t relocate the hive, as all bees in Arizona had been Africanized [Africanized honey bees are known colloquially as “killer bees”], they killed them. Plus they had to wear bee suits to do it, and it’s rather dangerous as Africanized bees are only dangerous when you attack their hive. And, of course, it would cost more to remove the hive. So I said Let it be done.
Next time I was in Tucson (unfortunately for a friend’s funeral), checked out the house. The bee removal company had done a lousy job of cleaning out the hive, as there was still honey smeared inside the cabinet. Oh well, I cleaned it myself, regretting that I hadn’t gotten the honey, repaired the door and reattached it.
Back to last weekend. I started to call bee removal companies to get estimates on the removal of the now two dozen bees. Estimates from five companies ranged from $125 to $580 (!!!), for only 24 bees!? But as I was on the phone I noticed that the numbers were increasing, and at that point the real estate agent called to bring out a client, within 15 minutes! Déjà vu. I was freaking. So I told him about the bees and left to go to the hardware store for problem solving, and down the street was a pest control truck, with the pest control guy in it.
I stopped to quiz him about my problem (and saw the real estate agent go down the street). He said that bees were swarming at that time, and I needed to put weather stripping around the doors so the bees didn’t get in the cracks. Bought the weather stripping, but by the time I got home there were four dozen bees, and the thought of going out to remove cabinet doors with them possibly attacking was a bit unnerving. (There have been two movies made: Killer Bees, 1974, and Killer Bees!, 2002.)
Called one more bee company, and this guy told me just to spray the cabinets with Raid and the bees would go away. (Duh – why didn’t I think of that, when the Deet had worked before.) Called my neighbors to ask if they had any Raid (not wanting to go out again), which I borrowed, and sure enough it worked. Phew! A dozen bees dead unfortunately, but none left trying to get in. Took the (same) offending door off, repaired it again, and noticed that when it swung correctly, no weather stripping was necessary. Took that back the next day for my money back. Crisis averted!
Tags: Africanized honey bees