Thursday, July 2, 2009

Wild Kingdom

We've had some wild (ok, who am I to judge) rabbits who've moved into the neighborhood. After leaving out a few baby carrots and the food disappeared. I expect an invite to their den any day now. It is nice to have good neighbors. And they look much friendlier than the little old lady with the two poodles although it has become my life mission to wave and smile to her EVERY DAMN DAY because apparently her life sucked and she likes to show it on her face!

When I run in the morning, there are usually two rabbits grazing in the lot across the street. Apparently, they are not supposed to be seen together shy because they usually do their statue pose when I come by. If everything goes as planned, they'll grow to love me as much as I love them. Aren't they adorable?

A few weeks ago, we noticed some bees flying around one corner of the house. After watching them for a while, it was obvious they were crawling under the wood and going .... where?! DANGIT! We didn't invite the stinking bees!

The brave, daring husband crawled into the attic to investigate. He came back stating the bees were NOT in the attic.

After a Google-fied search, we realized we were dealing with honey bees.

DOUBLE DANGIT! We can't kill honey bees! There is a huge decline of honey bees in the United States (and in the world - but it appears the rest of the world is doing a better job advertising for the bees to visit and stay).

After a few frustrating phone calls to the County Extension Agent because WHY THE HECK WOULD WE REALLY WANT THEM TO TAKE OUR CONCERNS SERIOUSLY! We have BEES! BEES HAVE STINGERS! WE DON'T ENJOY THE STINGERS! , a volunteer arrived. Apparently we look a step above complete and total imbecile don't look well educated in all things bees and he didn't trust our judgment that the bees were NOT in the attic.

After a sweaty climb into the attic, Mr. Bee Keeper came down to announce the bees were NOT in the attic.

Oh, really.
He felt they were in the wall. A lively discussion about the merits of going through wood or brick ensued. The wood lost.

After cutting into wood at the top of the garage which has NOT been cleaned out due to reading, avoiding the hotter than holy carp heat and waiting for the garage fairy to arrive, Mr. Bee Keeper announced the bees were NOT in the wall!

The next step was to attack check the eaves of the house.

Mr. Bee Keeper loaded up the bee smoker and explained that the smoke made the bees really excited. Really?! I think I've met others who get excited about *special* smoke, too. Who knew humans had so much in common with the bees?

Mr. Bee Keeper really smoked those bees. And they did get excited and I believe a few bee brain cells were fried in the process which is why you should NOT smoke stuff even if it is just pine straw!

The task of ruining cutting into the eaves began. It started with a little hole but quickly grew into a more expensive chunk-o-damage about an eight foot section.

HOLY HONEY! There were tons of bees! This experience has taught me that bees are smarter than I initially thought. Their colony even had a brain-like appearance.

Mr. Bee Keeper then began the process of getting stung taking the honey combs down. We begged him to put on his cool bee-keeper hat but he said it wasn't necessary.

Mr. Bee Keeper ain't no sissy! is a very tough man.

While getting stung taking down the honey combs, Mr. Bee Keeper gave us several lessons on bee keeping although I'm not sure why because we wanted the little stingers out of there. He also looked for the queen.

I really didn't understand everything he said but I did get that if you were a bee, you'd want to be the queen. And the drones are boring get killed. See, Mom? I can be a good student!

We all looked for the queen. Mr. Bee Keeper said he'd know her when he saw her.
I looked for the crown.

I looked a little bit closer. Maybe I'd be able to spot that majestic wave.
Is it me or do they all look alike? This is making me feel like a bee-racist.

Instead, I found this bee hanging out on a leaf. Is it just me or are those some BIG eyes?!

Normally, I'm not all a-scared of bees but typically, I don't mess up their condo colony.

I was starting to just think it was all in my head. Bees don't have emotions. Bees won't take this personally.

Then, I saw my cup of water.

DANGIT! There is no denying that the bees have it out for us!

I think I'm going to go see if I can move in with the rabbits.


Jan said...

Bees don't bother me. But the bunnies? I was very charmed by the rabbits that frequent our property...until they began to EAT it.

Now? I'd like a good recipe for hassenpfeffer.

Anonymous said...

oh i can't stand bees...i hope you got money for your honey!! :)

cheatymoon said...

Wow. I could have written this post last year. I had a colony of bees in my BEDROOM WALL. The bug guy came, determined that they were not honey bees (I don't know how) and, ahem, go rid of 'em. Went in through the eaves - just like in your photos.

Also, I have critters under the house - groundhogs. If/when it stops raining, I was going to sneak up and take some photos. They're cute.

Beth said...

Jan - I guess I'm happy with the bunnies because they are eating things in someone else's yard. And I like the bees. They were kind of a fun adventure. Expensive but fun.

Mrs. K - We let Mr. Bee Keeper keep the honey for his troubles. He did all the work (damage) for free!

Erin - Bees in your bedroom wall! That is pretty close! And it isn't free to tear up the house! I want a groundhog. We don't get those in Georgia.

Funny Girl said...

Great pictures in this post.

The Old Gray Egg said...

I love this story. No room for more than one queen bee on your property, huh?

Unknown said...

Just be glad they weren't carpenter bees because they'd probably still be drilling holes in your wood trim!

Love the bunnies!
Were you able to eat the honey from the honeycomb or does it need to be processed or something. Obviously, I didn't pay attention in school!

Hit 40 said...

You are such a good egg!!! I can not believe that he came out and got the bees for you for free. Good luck with the damage clean up!!! Geez!! This is what ya get for being nice.

Did he ever find the queen??

Laura said...

OH MY GOSH - that is some serious honeycomb! I've never seen anything like that, and I'm sure you're glad it was discovered and removed! Love the cute bunnies. Now, can you figure out how to get rid of moles?

Lisa said...

Holy Crap! That gives me the willies! I HATE HATE HATE BEES! But for some reason they totally LOVE ME! Seriously, they follow me around making sure to stay within 3 inches, directly in front of my face no matter how fast I'm running around, screaming and flailing my arms! Weird.

Oh, but I love cute little bunnies :o)

darsden said...

Wow that was a big did you get a jar of homemade honey out of it..That was impressive. Glad you did call the expert! Rabbits will multiply faster than a bee buzzes. You are going to have no plants :-)

Chris said...

I hate bees. And I sure don't like honey enough to justify their existence. The only justice is that when they sting you, they die. And the fact that they still sting people only emphasizes their own stupidity.

Mike said...

Somewhere, there is a bee, on her mini bee laptop, blogging about the rabbits and the annoying humans that tore down their neighborhood! Can't we all just get along? LMAO!

bernthis said...

HOly crap. I'm sorry that happened to you but that is amazing. I've never seen a hive up close.

Kristina P. said...

This is so cool! And we thought we had bees in our eaves too. Turns out they were wasps, so we couldn't have a cool adventure like yours.

Rosaria Williams said...

Rabbits and bees are enjoying your neighborhood. You must be running a special two for one garage/roof sale.

leslie said...

OMG, that is SOME bee hostle! Maybe you could have lived happily and just used the honey? And yeah, if you get rid of the queen, there is no more life purpose for the other fellows. They live to serve! See if your local County Fair has a Bee Guy - ours does! They lovelovelove to talk about their bees!

We have baby rabbits in our neighborhood every year - too cute!

Jack and Kernel said...

We have had bees bite us on the nose!!! It really hurts.

Beth said...

Funny Girl - I only took 164 pictures. I trimmed it down to show you guys the best! :)

The Old Gray Egg - I didn't think about it that way but now I like it! I'm going to start requesting that folks end statements with "Your Majesty." What fun!

Jane - I've heard that carpenter bees can really mess up a place! I really did like the honey bees. We got to try some of the honey comb which has honey in it. You spit out the wax once you've chewed the honey out. It was delicious!

Hit 40 - We just talked to Mr. Bee Keeper tonight and the bees are rebuilding a hive in their new home. He isn't positive but at this point it looks like he has the queen.

Laura - Follow the mole trails at night with a flashlight then when you get to the end and you can see the ground moving a little, stomp real hard. Actually, I hear if you can get rid of the mole crickets you will get rid of the moles. They've torn up our yard on more than one occasion.

Yeah, I'm Still Here - So, bees love you? If you weren't so lovable...

Darsden - We gave all the honey to Mr. Bee Keeper for his hard work. It only seemed fair. And the cats next door do a pretty good job keeping the rabbits across the street. We are happy with them there.

Chris - Don't like honey?! What about that cereal? Honey Smacks? Dude, you are totally missing out.

Otin - I have the visual in my head now and I just can't sake it!

Jessica - Glad for the opportunity to be your National Geographic tour guide!

Kristina - I would be afraid of the wasps. They usually have a nasty disposition!

lakeviewer - I haven't even told you guys about the rabid racoons. My neighborhood really isn't that rural. See what happens when people move into the woods!

leslie - Mr. Bee Keeper DID love talking about his bees. In fact, he is teaching a class on bees. We may have already heard everything.

Jack and Kernel - I think you should get extra treats right now just for the scary thoughts about bees!

Lori said...

You got some great shots of your wild kingdom! I am allergic to bees so I try to stay away from them!

Vodka Mom said...

That is fascinating!!! I love insects, and bees in particular fascinate me.

That was an incredible story!!!!!

k said...

wow! you got some great pictures of all the action down there. I prefer to live with bunnies over bees too. not a fan of bees. there were definitely a truckload of them there huh? those honeycombs kind of grossed me out. I guess I really don't like bees. so how much will it cost now to seal up the bee escape route?

♥ Braja said...

Who says nature has such good balance and order? If that were true, rabbits would eat bees...See?

mo.stoneskin said...

Little old ladies with the poodles should never be trusted. And you shouldn't trust the poodles either. It's all a terrible conspiracy.

Beth said...

smiles4u - Yikes! I'm glad I'm not allergic. I used to get stung by every bee and wasp in a 5 mile radius when I was a kid. We didn't get stung at all by the bees. Well, Mr. Bee Keeper got stung about a dozen times.

Vodka Mom - I wish I'd known. You could have come down and watched. With a vodka drink in your hand, of course.

k13 - We aren't totally sure what the damage will be. And we are still in the process of getting the remaining bees out of there. Also, we really need to paint the house. Now we are going to HAVE to paint the house. I'm figuring we've racked up a couple grand in expenses. BUT we saved the bees!

Braja - Good point. The rabbits should totally start hanging out in on the roof of our house.

mo - I knew it! Poodles are the only dogs who have bitten me. They really are out to get us!

Unknown said...

Holy crap! I can't believe the combs that were up there. Scary stuff. Did he ever find the queen?

Maybe she flew away and ended up in the jacket pocket of a ball girl at the Astros-Padros game yesterday

Michel said...

Ewweee! That was a LOT of bees!!! That honey stuff was cool though. Did he find the queen? where did she go?

how the hell do they get the honey out of that stuff? Plus, now I'm kinda freaked because the bees were all over that and I'm thinking they didn't wash their little feet. It's unsanitary, frankly.

Carma Sez said...

The extension service would freak out if they knew the quantities of bee killer my husband uses if he even gets an inkling there is a nest somewhere. He is allergic to bees - but his methods are definitely "overkill"

I'm with you. Bring on the cuddly bunnies :-)

Pseudo said...

Did he relocate the bees and their honeycomb somewhere else? Totally fascinating stuff.

Bunnies are so cute. We had lots of rabbits in California, but no bunnies over here.

Joanna Jenkins said...

That was awesome!!!!

I love the "I looked for the [Queen's] crown." I would have too :-)

Great post!

Dawn Parsons Smith said...

My parents went through this same drama last summer! Bees in the wall! My favorite part was "I looked for the crown!" Awesome!

Wishing you a very happy July 4th!

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Anonymous said...

Dang! That's a serious hive! And I was ticked we had wood bees! I'm kind of thankful now!!

Deanna Bland Hiott PhD, MSN, RN said...

That is the funniest thing I have read in quite a while....Anyone can have bees but not everyone can laugh about it and write about it in such a humorous way!!! :D

Smart Mouth Broad said...

Growing up, Daddy kept bees. He was the one people would call to do what your volunteer did. Get the queen, the rest will follow her. They are very interesting. I don't really care for them tho. Beekeepers get immuned to stings. Daddy had 17 on one arm once. I think I've been stung once.....if that tells you how often I helped with the bees. :-)

Kulio said...


and cool too.

I'm creepily fascinated.

Cheryl Cato said...

Great post, Beth, and great photos! I love the caustic way in which you write & then do the cross-outs! So much fun! Glad Mr. Bee Keeper got rid of your bees, but did you get to keep any honey? What is he going to do with them? Will they 'bee' re-located?
Have a great weekend!

Crazy Charm said...

What a cool story..well aside from the destruction done to your house.

Also, I always notice that you take the best pictures.

Fragrant Liar said...

WOW! I am speechless. Almost. That's incredible (A) that you got bees in your eaves and (B) that the beekeeper didn't feel the need for protection and (C) that I can't remember the significance of the beautiful bunnies now. Too many B's . . .

Anonymous said...

Your Bee-rated story deserves and A+--It was so entertaining:) About the rabbits--I so love rabbits. My mom found a bunch of abandoned baby rabbits. Only 2 survived. She asked what she should name them. My husband suggested left and right (get it, for fuzzy, furry slippers) She was appalled! However, in the winter, when my feet get cold, it doesnt' sound so appalling!

zipbagofbones said...

I am horrified beyond description at the sight of that hive/colony thing. It's like they went to some high-falootin' contemporary architectural design school and was intended as a bee performance hall.

The bunnies are cute, though. We have a family under our deck, too!