Sunday, April 25, 2010

a line must be drawn

As I have mentioned before, and much to the shock and dismay of my own mother, I am trying to love bees. Honey bees, of course. We would like to have a hive or two one day when we have some land. But for now I am making a conscious decision to not scream like a girl and run when a bee invades my personal space. I suppose the same goes for bumble bees, the trying to love them, because they are so fuzzy and cute and seemingly harmless. Although, I am reminded by miss O that the females are the ones with stingers. But still, they buzz around loud enough that I can hear them coming and I think we've reached an understanding that if I stay out of their way they'll stay out of mine. Of course, there is the occasional run in when we're swinging on the swings or playing tag, but accidents happen - we all know that. So yes, honey bees and bumble bees, they're okay.
Here's where the problem comes in...bees are bees to me, whether it's a honey bee or a yellow jacket or a bald-faced hornet. I hear the buzzing, look long enough to see a striped body and very calmly and quickly move in the other direction. Yes, we've checked out many books and read many articles about all stinging insects but my brain just won't pause long enough to think clearly or rationally when I hear a slight buzzing sound invading my personal space.
The reason I share all of this with you is because this is what I found on the back porch light when I got home the other evening.

Yes, right outside the back door. The door we use the most. All day long. It is the beginning of a bald-faced hornet nest. I had noticed what I thought was a yellow jacket flying around the door while we played outside before lunch. I shooed it away - not smart. Then when lunch was over and we waved bye to Daddy (at 1:30) there were no signs of any stinging creatures lurking around. Even at 3pm when I left to tutor there was no sign. However, when I returned at 5pm this was firmly attached to my back porch light. I saw the tail end of the hornet sticking out when I walked up on the porch but when it heard me it flew away. I went inside and asked my mother-in-law what kind of nest it was and she was sure it was a hornet's nest. Yikes! My own mom has hornet nest story that will keep you awake at night so I knew it had to come down right away! After I took pictures, naturally. So I grabbed my camera and took these pictures. Yes, up close and personal. No fear, it was empty. Do you see a hornet in there? No, of course not or I would not have had my camera on macro and my face so close to the nest. Once I was satisfied with my shots my mother-in-law grabbed a Ziploc bag so she could pull it off. Clever, I thought, so we could keep it safe while we studied it up close and personal. However, when she put her hand up there a hornet flew right out!!! There was a hornet in there building on that stupid nest the whole time I had my face up there! Aaaak!! Thank goodness for the bag covering her one got stung. Our heart rates did go up though.

So here's is where the line must be drawn, hornet. I understand that outside is your domain. I have no problem with that. I don't even have a problem with you doing a fly by while we're playing in the yard. Just don't stop and sting anyone and don't, in any way, shape, or form, build a nest on or near my house. Like I said before, we'll leave you alone and you leave us alone. Are we cool? If you cross that line bad things will happen. I have a huge can of spray that will knock your wings off and I'm not afraid to use it! Well, at least not after the sun goes down--on a cool evening when you're lethargic--oh, who am I kidding? Tim will spray you and he won't be afraid. So like I said...don't cross the line!

Upon closer inspection of the inner comb of the nest I discovered that in the short time it took to build the cells and the nest layers the lovely hornets had the nerve to lay an egg in each cell. They sure don't waste any time. Additionally, I am even more thrilled that the nest was removed from the porch before there was an entire busy hive buzzing around.


Adrienne said...

oh my. OH MY! I'd definitly draw the line ... and wave that can of RX at them!

Anonymous said...

Hello Angela, It's your mother!! I still do scream and run like a scared girl!! Ha Ha! I guess I didn't scream enough when we saw bees did I ? Do you remember when there was a wasp in the car? I pulled over to the curb and we all got out and screamed till the bee flew out? Is that crazy or what? WHAT?? Love Ya. Big G

Anonymous said...
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Zoƫ said...

Good thing you got it fast. Those things can make a whole big nest in the blink of an eye.