Over the past few days we noticed some bees (yellow jackets, to be specific) swarming around a certain part of our house every afternoon. I mentioned it to the Center Operations Chieftain assuming that I could get a can of wasp and hornet spray that would shoot fifteen or twenty feet and instantly knock down any flying insect it contacted–some of you may have used this before…in America. But the chieftain said he would have “one of the guys come over and take care of it.”
Yesterday morning James came over with a bottle of some poisonous powder and an old 409 spray bottle. He decided the 409 bottle wasn’t big enough so he dug a one liter sprite bottle out of a trash can and used the spray handle from the 409. He dumped in some of the powder and mixed in some water then proceeded to shake up the bee-killing-concoction.
Anyone who has cleaned a bathroom knows that this kind of spray bottle does not propel its contents even five feet, let alone fifteen or twenty. So James crawled up under our house close enough to touch the hole where the bees were coming in and out and started spraying. He sat there for close to twenty minutes spraying the hole and spraying bees swarming around himself (which did not immediately fall to the ground) while I was thinking, “how are they not stinging him?” There turns out to be a simple answer: they were stinging him, he just didn’t care. A few times I saw him spray the poison right on his hands after being stung and I assume he has seen “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” but has confused Bee Killer and Windex.
Here is the hive we pulled out when we removed the plywood from the outside of the wall.
Here are the bees that fell out of the bottom of the wall. (As always, you can click any picture to enlarge it.)