Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Apian Houseguests

Our next door neighbors came home early from their vacation.  I knew this because their giant motor home drove past my window, her Honda CRV in tow.  I can't decide how I feel about those things.  Babs and I talked for years about renting one and piling the kids in for a trip to the Black Hills or some other place, remote and without 5-star accommodations to tempt us.  We never got past the talking.  I love the notion of traveling with your house, but doesn't that defeat the purpose of seeing someplace new?  And whatever you'd save in hotel bills, 5-star or not, would go toward feeding the beast.  These were among the issues I was prepared to raise when we met in our driveways the next morning - along with "Why are you in Tucson in July?" - but we were side-tracked by the sight of dozens of bees flying into and out of the downspout over the garage door. 

There are several reasons that this bee-less photo was chosen:
  • It demonstrates that, from most of my driveway the fact that there were bees making a home in my home was not evident.  Do you see anything flying around up there?  Neither did I.  They seem to come and go from the other side.  
  • There are no flying beasties in this picture.  Many of my readers.... okay, one reader in particular  (about whom I care deeply, profoundly and with a mother's love and devotion) ... well, perhaps some of you are eating breakfast as you read this and you don't want to have bees sharing your table.
  • It is a pretty shot of that same early returning neighbor's eucalyptus trees.  I have a love/hate relationship with those trees.  They are the tallest flora in the area, and they are fabulous as they sway in the wind.  However, they also shed their bark in long, thin pieces.  It comes floating into my yard and my pool every time a breeze blows, and it resists brooms and skimmers with equal disregard for their powers.  As I said, it's a love/hate kinda thing.
We stood there in horror, in the early morning sun, watching them fly in and out.  All of a sudden I understood, with stunning clarity, that the goo on the floor of the garage was not an unnoticed spill, or Terminix's glue trap 

gone wild, adhesive oozing from each side, gumming up the works.  No, the viscous substance which was giving us a lesson in adhesion every time we tried to raise that garage door was not a toxic spill, it was overflow honey from a beehive. 

That downspout is right over the garage door.

At first I thought that the honey was running down the stucco and onto the door, but that is not the case.  Nope, these things have made themselves cozy somewhere in the lining of my home.  This house is made of rastra block, a cement concoction that resists termites.  I guess the bees are hardier stock.   

We stood and watched for a while more, and then I went inside to tell TBG the news.  We weren't worried; we have had an annual contract with Terminix ever since the progression of smaller animals being consumed by ever larger animals as they went up the food chain ended in the foyer with TBG and his broom sweeping a snake out the front door.  I called the man with the can the next morning, and we've been relatively pest free indoors since then.  I don't mind them outside, but stay off my Persian Rugs.

The lady at Terminix assured me that bees were not covered under my contract and then she wanted to know what kind of bees they were.  I hung up.  If I knew that much about bees I'd probably know how to terminate them myself.  Besides, I really didn't want to kill them.  On the off chance that they are honey bees, I'd probably go to jail for hurting them.  It is actually illegal to destroy the hives; contractors lose their licenses if they are discovered.  So, to the interweb I went, searching for live bee removal tucson.

The first business didn't answer the phone.  The second call rang and rang and rang until a very nice lady in Sierra Vista answered and said that her husband got into it as a hobby and he's a beekeeper himself and everyone is calling him and I shouldn't even bother to leave my name and number because he's booked for the next month.  The national firm didn't have a phone number; they wanted me to submit my data and they'd reply quickly.  I'm not interested in sharing my phone number with random strangers, so I passed.  Finally, I found someone who said he'd be out after lunch.  At two, I called and, once again, he had 30 minutes or so of work and I certainly had time to go to the grocery store.  And now, dear readers, it's 5pm.  Cocktail hour.  Time to think about dinner and finishing the last Robert B. Parker novel I'll ever read and catching up on the last episodes of Mad Men .... not for wondering why I can't get anyone to deal with this.


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