Killer Bees, Y’all

Okay, so maybe not killer bees, but crazy scary droves of bees nonetheless.

Behold.

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Yeah.

That’s what I saw last week when the tile guy called me outside to “see the bees.”  See the bees, indeed.  And that was only half of them – that’s right, there was another nest in a concrete box (that normally protects a water shut off valve) next to the house.  Shivers.  I think I might have had a little shriek in my voice while we were chatting about the bees.

Obviously, I got on the Internet ASAP and googled for bee removal in Dallas.  I called the first company that popped up and looked legit, got the low down on the whole process and how much it would cost (the nest in the tree was more expensive to remove than the nest on the ground), and then set up an appointment for that afternoon.  I wanted those suckers gone.  (Interesting side note – since the tree nest was on a limb instead of in the trunk of the tree, the bee people speculated over the phone that it might be a swarm instead of a nest.  If that were the case, that would mean that thousands of bees were just hovering in a ball on the limb to protect the queen while scouts flew around looking for a new home.  This seriously gave me the willies!!!)

Fast forward a few hours and a guy in a truck shows up at the flip, apparently ready to deal with some bees.  He was wearing track pants and a T-shirt, which didn’t seem very bee-friendly to me but I assumed he had his crazy bee-hazmat suit in his truck.  Oh, and he was late because he forgot his ladder at the last job (how do you forget a 25 foot ladder?).

Anyhoo, after he assessed the situation he said that he could “relocate” the nest on the ground but that he would have to kill the nest in the tree (it was a nest, not a swarm) – that made sense to me, since it’s probably pretty hard to rescue bees 25 feet in the air.  Especially since he estimated the nest had 50,000-100,000 bees in it.  I almost died.

I went inside the house to warn all the trades about the bee removal situation going on outside, and watched from inside while he got ready for the bees – which apparently only involved the top half of the bee suit, and some painters tape around the ankles.  I’m pretty sure I would have wanted the full suit, but that’s just me.

bee keeper

The minimally protective clothing was a little strange, but then things got even weirder.  He was removing the ground nest first, and apparently he planned to scrape it out of the concrete box and put the nest (and bees!) in a taped up FedEx box with holes poked in it.  Um, what?

By this point I was back in my car, watching him crouch behind the bushes, smoking the bees to calm them down.

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To my surprise, I saw him grab the entire concrete box and hoof it over to his truck, bees and all.  And yes, those little light specks in the photo below are bees.

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As he walked by my car I suddenly got nervous that the bees could somehow crawl into my car’s air vents and attack me.  Luckily, that didn’t happen.  :)

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As you can see, he just plunked the entire concrete box into the back of his truck.  I don’t know what I expected, but it surely wasn’t that.  And then he told me that he was going to “find a creek somewhere to release the bees.”  What???  Again, I”m not sure what I expected – maybe I thought he would take them back to the office where they have a little room for all the bees to live in?  Ridiculous, I know, but that’s kind of what I thought!

He said that he was going to have to come back with another beekeeper to get the nest in the tree (for safety reasons, and with a taller ladder).  I wasn’t there when he came back but he told me that he sprayed the nest with pesticide and then hit it with a golf club.  Again, what??? Isn’t there a special beekeeper stick he should be using?

In the end, I’m beyond thrilled and relieved that the bees are gone, and that no one got hurt.  I was seriously having horrible visions of hundreds of thousands of bees attacking.  But I’m still shocked that the whole bee-removal process was so laid back – is that normal?  Regardless, I happily forked over my $500 and called it a problem solved.

Have you ever had a bee scare?

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Comments

  1. Jen says:

    What a strange bee removal system that guy has – but hey, if it works… Bees always remind me of the movie My Girl – glad this post was much happier than that!

  2. kathy says:

    love the beekeeper outfit!

  3. whoa whoa whoa-i needed major warning before reading that post. the pics of the nest….i swear i can hear them buzzing! nothing scares me more than bees, nothing.

    • Liz - It's Great To Be Home says:

      I KNOW!! I needed warning before I saw the nest in person, I can assure you – it totally freaked me out!

  4. Anne says:

    Super weird! I’m surprised he went through with it and I’m glad it worked out in the end!

  5. Allison says:

    This story is seriously funny. Except for the whole thousands of bees part. But I’m glad you got rid of the bees!

  6. Yeah, that’s how you move bees. My mom keeps bees on her property and when she has swarms the owner of the bees comes over and takes the swarm away to a new hive…in the trunk of her car! They seem pretty docile when they’re swarming. They’re pretty docile overall. It’s too bad the guy couldn’t save the hive in the tree. Bees do amazing things; they’re kind of important.

    • Liz - It's Great To Be Home says:

      Wow! Thanks for the insight, Felicity – I know nothing about bees except what I just learned and this is pretty interesting! I agree, it was too bad about the tree hive – it needed to go (ASAP!), but it was pretty impressive.

  7. Debbie says:

    We had a huge (huge) swarm form in a crab apple tree a few years ago. I swear you could see the thing pulsing! They were there one day and gone the next, thank you very much. That said, the swarms are pretty impressive to look at…..as long as I’m in the house!

    • Liz - It's Great To Be Home says:

      The idea of swarms just blows my mind!! I don’t know why they seem so much creepier than a hive but they do for some reason. Ha, glad yours moved on quickly! :)

  8. ShannonU says:

    I’m not really surprised at your guy’s methods. Have you ever seen “Billy the Exterminator?” on A& E? Apparently there is no “live pest removal handbook” and it’s all up to interpretation. LOL

    One time we had a rattle snake and the guy came out with a laundry basket, a trash bag and one of those “handy grabber” type things.

    There was a foreclosure in our neighborhood that sat empty. The new owners found there was a huge hive IN THE WALLS. Can you say NIGHTMARE?

    As a side note: I had to help my daughter do a report about bees. Did you know they speak to each other with body language that is so specific they can tell the other bees where good nectar is by how many times they shake their bums? Also if one dies, others from it’s hive will come collect it and take it’s body away.

    • Liz - It's Great To Be Home says:

      Oh my goodness, I feel lucky after those stories!

      That’s so cool about bees – they really are like a little civilization!

  9. Aimee says:

    Oh My Gosh!!! Scary, funny, TERRIFYING to think of a pulsating mass of 100,000 bees! Definitely an adventure which I am glad NOT to have experienced in person by vicariously! Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  10. Too bad all the bees in the tree had to be killed, but what are you gonna do…can’t have them hanging around (bad joke!) like that. I once got stung on my lower eyelid and my whole face blew up like crazy, I looked like a lion. Yucky.

    • Liz - It's Great To Be Home says:

      A bee flew into my mouth when I was little and stung me – I can totally sympathize, ha!

  11. Amazing you’re story, and you’re so lucky it was bees and not wasps; last year, in England (of all places) we had about 4 wasps dotted around the garden – had to get them all removed. They especially liked to nest in the roofs of our house and you could here them – it was proper creepy. And then a couple of years ago, we had a whole swarm of wasps that moved across the garden to settle in one tree and then a couple of hours later they moved again – lucky I warned everyone that was outside sunbathing!

  12. Girl,your commentary is cracking me up. My parents had a nasty bee problem at their current renovation. They thought it was on the eaves of the front porch but it ended up that the entire thing was beneath the floors of the upstairs closet which was behind the porch. Inside the house!!!! Needless to say, Henry and I didn’t go near that house until it was taken care of.My folks ended up working with a local guy from Craigslist who was trying to relocate bees to his property for the honey. He would do it for free if he could take them. And he needed a helper. So, my uncle got to help and learn and the bees were taken. He had to come back a few times because Apparantly he missed the queen. Scary stuff. Glad you got rid of those boogers. And I’ve kind of heard that bee folk are a little. Odd? Seems to be the case.

    • Liz - It's Great To Be Home says:

      Yuck!!! That is so scary that they were inside the house! Good to know about looking to Craigslist for someone that will take them for free – I’ll definitely try that next time!

  13. HeidiG says:

    Ummm, I’m pretty sure your beehives are on the front page of yahoo today!! Here is a screenshot: https://img.skitch.com/20120921-jbqity9mei1b2qwigssmxtt687.jpg

  14. Stacy says:

    I saw your post and then saw this article today – thought you may enjoy it since this happened in Texas and you had two hives in your yard to be removed. This could have been you: http://news.yahoo.com/video/giant-hive-half-million-killer-193000682.html

    • Liz - It's Great To Be Home says:

      That is CRAZY!!! Richardson is a suburb of Dallas, so it’s not too far from here – and that’s the same company we used! Goodness, so glad our hive wasn’t 4 FEET TALL!

  15. Jill says:

    haha! you are so funny! I cracked up reading this whole story. I would’ve thought that there would be some kind of bee keeper special bat, than a golf club too :).

  16. Sarah says:

    That same guy came to remove bees from our water cut off box.

    Bees

  17. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation however I find this topic to be actually one thing which I believe I might by no means understand. It seems too complicated and extremely extensive for me. I am looking ahead for your next post, I’ll attempt to get the cling of it!