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