Monday, September 01, 2008
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.