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Monday, September 01, 2008

Bee Stung

I went to mow the lawn today. I don't do this very often, because I'm not really into gardening. So in a sense, I only have myself to blame for what happened next.

As I was merrily mowing down the long grass to a more manageable level, I suddenly found myself in a cloud of irate buzzing insects.

Usain Bolt wouldn't have beaten me in the sprint to the kitchen door.

Since then, I've been watching from behind locked doors and glass as the buzzers hover in an angry cloud, coming and going from their ground nest, whose top I've lopped off with the mower.

A couple of calls to pest control later, and it seems like that's all I'm allowed to do. My vision of astronaut-suited pest controllers pumping chemicals into the lawn or dowsing the entire garden in plumes of toxic smoke have sadly vanished.

No one will touch my bees. Why?

They are, apparently, a protected species.

I'm told they won't sting unless attacked (but I'm guessing the accidental destruction of their home would count as an attack.) I'm not allowed to dig them out or poison them or do whatever one does to get rid of a ground nest of stinging insects in the back garden.

But that rules out using the garden for a bit, I fear. Apparently, September is the height of the colony, and they should die back as it gets colder. Haven't they noticed that this was one of the coldest, crappest summers in Irish records?

Any tips from green-fingered bee-killers would be welcome. I'm not averse to breaking the law when the law prioritises insects over me.


Conan Drumm said...

Are they actually bees, and not wasps? If they are bees then they're most likely to be bumble bees and they won't be around for much longer.
If - it's very unlikely - they're honey bees, which are very endangered, you could call a beekeeper who might have options for you.

JC Skinner said...

They're bees alright. I had an expert check.
Bumble rather than honey variety, though. Still protected, apparently.
But there I was, stepping through the garden last night carrying a flask of petrol as you do, when I accidentally tripped in the dark and emptied the flask all over the nest.
No bees this morning!

EvotingMachine0197 said...

JC, you really should have a lid for that petrol flask if you regularly roam your garden at night with it in hand.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully the fuckers havn't relocated to any neighbouring gardens...
If I hear buzzing and can smell petrol when I get home I'll know who to blame :(

JC Skinner said...

Machine, you're so right. It was tremendously careless of me. I promise in future than any nocturnal ramblings around the garden with flasks of petrol in hand will commence with me checking the lid first.
Anon: I doubt you'll hear any buzzing. The little fellas all seem very, um, unmoving today.

Anonymous said...

The neighbour up the street killed his nest off last year. He had a fright this year though, they are now nesting under the roof in a hole ffs and he can not reach them. His kids are tortured and can not play in the garden.

JC Skinner said...

Ouch! Better luck next time, eh?