My Africanized "killer" bee story....

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My Africanized "killer" bee story....

Postby Reese-Mo » 06 Jun 2021 14:27

Last Thursday, the brit GF tells me "we've got some waspeths in the back, they're going pell mell in and out of that hole in our wall".

What hole I ask? We don't have any holes. Oh yes we do she says. So I look, and there's a 3/4 inch triangular chunk of block missing, and its very new looking. I'm perplexed, but... figure I gotta deal with the wasps.

Being in the golfcourse trade, I have access to "the good stuff" and bring home two cans of it. This crap shoots about 40 feet, maybe... oh double of the stuff you buy at the big box, and has twice the concentration, plus some stuff that makes its fumes mo'potenter. I shoot a half can inside the hole and notice... they be bees, not her "waspeths", and they're ganged up around a piece of plywood that I didn't take down from the last big blow nearly a year ago. My bad. So I shoot most of a full can in and behind the plywood, letting it drip down behind the wood, and call it an evening. The plywood covered a perfectly good window, with window A/C that's in my laundry room/office. My lazy ass just didn't take the wood down, because the A/C unit was acting up and I really didn't want to screw with it until I just... well... had to.

She comes in at about 9pm from her cleaning gig. "Oh dearie, we've got a tonne of dead waspeths laying about the walkway". I go and look, and great googly-moogly.... jeebus, we got dead and half dead crits covering 4 feet width of concrete walkway that's 25 feet long, plus all over the patio area, and they're mingling by my sodium vapor light on the house, and I AIN'T GOIN' OUT THERE FOR NUTHIN'!

I figured they'd die off by morning. They did not. There was less sidewalk than dead bees visible too, but plenty still flying about, seemingly madder than a NY city gal who's sugar daddy just cut off her credit card. I mean, they were a bunch of %@*&$ off bees.

So... two more cans. I figured I half got 'em. Shot 'em full of two cans behind the plywood. That oughta get 'em. Then I said to m'self... hey there's a window there, how about looking though the glass. Good idea for somebody who's been Mr. Dumbass so far on this adventure. Another shocking moment. A cluster of bees about a foot tall, a good ten inches wide, and five inches thick are hangin' in one corner of the window opening.

I take a look at a dead one. Darker than thought a bee oughta look, but I found out that some are darker than others. Fuzzy thorax, legs with sacks. So no sort of hornet or waspeth... er... WASP. I call the local bee guy. You SURE they're bees? Well, fuzzy middle, and they is wearin' leggin's, so that suggests bees to me, but you're the expert, I tell him. Ok, we'll be over tomorrow at noonish.

At about 11:45, the GF comes running to me, as I'm cutting the front grass. "They've abdicated!". What? "The waspeths have relinquished their realm!". What? "They've flown away in a cloud!". Oh.

I come to find out, that there is a rare habit of bees called "absconding", where the live queen will take off because she's callin' that locale quits for some reason. So I asked the GF, if she actually saw a "cloud" of bees. She did, and it flew very high until it was no longer visible. Hmmm, I thought, like an Elmer and Daffy cartoon!

The bee guy shows up right on time. I 'splain to him what the story is, and how they just took off. So, he suits up walks into the back and pauses. You kill all these? Yup. Get stung? Nope. You, sir, are a lucky son-of-a-bee. Why's that? Because these are Africanized. Too small to be regular honey bees. The Africanized are 3/4 size he tells me. Stings are no more powerful, but they get %@*&$ off and stay %@*&$ off, and, attack with half or even whole colony at once, not just a few bees. Wunnerful. That's why there are so many dead ones. Once they found out they were bein' poisoned, they came out to attack, and got the poison on 'em. I show him the bare comb through the window. Its TINY. I mean, its about the size of a cell phone, maybe 4 cell phones thick. Really small. And all those bees. Jeeze. Of couse he had to look me in the eye and say "... and they've been known to kill people, or pets, even big animals like horses!". Fear factor justifies extreme pricing I'm thinkin' to m'self.

Well, there were a few stragglers, and his thick weave suit kept the stingers outta his hide. Got the wood off, the comb was bare, no queen, no queen found dead or nuthin'. He told me about the absconding. Musta been.

There were 50 or so still buzzin about, so I waited till dark, and went to clean up the place a bit. TWO SHOVELS FULL of dead bees got swept up. About a bathroom size trash bag full. I burnt em in the fire pit along with the comb. Gotta get out an use strong detergent (aka the GF's Fabuloso concentrate) in order to knock down the pheromones that are attracting the stragglers, down to about a dozen now.

Charged me two C-notes for comin' out on Saturday. Since they showed up Thursday, and were goin' at it hell bent for leather, I s'pose it was worth it. I mean... Saturday and all, he'd rather be doing something else than dealin' with Africanized bees.

And that's it. A real fun weekend.
Last edited by Reese-Mo on 06 Jun 2021 14:33, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: My Africanized "killer" bee story....

Postby Reese-Mo » 06 Jun 2021 14:28

And yes, I patched the damn hole!

(it was where the old water heater pressure relief tube finally rotted away. No big thang)
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Re: My Africanized "killer" bee story....

Postby TinMan » 07 Jun 2021 10:14

I am new to the bee-farming trade and always on the lookout for over extra aggressive bees. Good on ya for killing off them little varmints....just too bad the bulk got away.
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Re: My Africanized "killer" bee story....

Postby Reese-Mo » 09 Jun 2021 19:25

We have a lady locally who puts hives on golf courses. BEST honey I ever had was from the sea grasses and native plants on a golf course right on the Atlantic. That golf thing is a win win win. For thr course, the lady who keeps a percentage of honey, and for the bees. The place on the Atlantic gets 160lbs of honey every four months, from two stacks of hives. Amazin'!
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