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Tuesday, August 26, 2008 :::

Battle of the Bees

A month or two ago I got stung by a bee in my own backyard. It hurt. I felt a prick, looked down, and the little fella was stuck to the back of my calf (wait - do calves have fronts? Or are those shins?). Anywho, I flicked him away and limped back to my house, clutching my leg with a painful grimace.

Bees: 1 Dan: 0

I had done nothing to warrant an attack, so out of curiosity I ventured back outside a few days later to investigate. I saw a few bees hovering around the dilapidated wooden stairs that lead up toward my alley. When I got closer and stepped on the top stair itself, a dozen bees poured out from beneath it, and I ran screaming - arms literally flailing - back into my house.

Bees: 2 Dan: 0

A couple weeks later my lawn was getting out of control and I needed to mow, so I could avoid the situation no longer. I bought a can of the appropriate Raid pest-control poison and ventured out back once again. In order to get the right angle to spray the poison underneath the top stair, I had to do it from my neighbor's lawn, on the other side of a chain link fence. The angle was tricky, and as soon as I got anywhere near the area, a few angry bees would come out to investigate. But I can be brave when necessary, so I steeled (stole?) my nerves and began spraying the caustic chemicals through the fence and as close to the base of the top stair as I could manage. Immediately the bees started pouring out, dropping to their deaths one by one as they hit the steady stream of lethal poison.

Even though I was managing to stay on top of the growing swarm with my excellent Raid shooting skills, the sheer number of bees was beginning to disturb me, so at some point, and without realizing, I started to scream. I was already narrowly avoiding sheer panic when suddenly the steady stream of poison from my spray can started to dwindle. At the same time the steady stream of bees from the hidden nest under the wooden stair started to surge. Anticipating defeat, I dropped my spray can and ran from my neighbor's backyard into my house, slamming the door behind me. When I realized I was still screaming, I stopped doing that, too.

A few hours later, I peeked outside to see if the swarm was still active and noticed that the empty can of Raid had disappeared from my neighbor's backyard. This meant that either the bees had carried it off to their nest as a trophy, or that my neighbor had witnessed the entire scene in his backyard and picked it up himself. I wasn't sure which possibility was worse.

Bees: 3 Dan: 0

Unsure of how many bees I killed or if I had managed to make their hive uninhabitable by emptying an entire can of Raid onto the mouth of their hidden lair, I waited another week to investigate. Cunningly, I got a long push broom and swiped at the top stair once again. A handful of bees flew out, and the next thing I knew I was in my basement shivering.

Bees: 4 Dan: 0

My friends told me that I should try again, but that I should wait until dawn or dusk to attack. So I bought another can of Raid, and planned my attack for early morning. I rigged the can of Raid with some duct tape and a dowel so that, when activated, the can could spray on its own. My new strategy was going to be a gonzo attack from my own yard: if I could get close enough, and while wearing protective rubber kitchen gloves of course, I could start the spray, drop it right at the mouth of the presumed nest under the top stair, and then cackle maniacally as the can automatically emptied its poisonous payload directly into the belly of the beast.

I got the spray can positioned and spraying with only a couple bees taking notice, and it all seemed to be going as planned until about halfway through the emptying process when the can flipped itself over and rolled down the slope and away from the nest, spewing poison in every direction possible, and once again sending me screaming into the safety of my home.

Bees: 5 Dan: ?

I've since been monitoring the area fairly regularly. From afar, I can see no activity. At closer inspection, not a single bee exits from the beneath the stair to investigate me. Feeling bold, I even stomped on the top stair once, and again nothing happened. Apparently my gonzo attack plan had worked.

But today I went outside to take out the garbage. Upon returning to my back door I noticed a dead squirrel on my patio. So now all day long I've been wondering: unrelated coincidence, or are the bees upping the ante? Was that dead squirrel my final horse-head-in-the-bed warning?

Bees: ? Dan: ?

::: posted by dan at 12:04 PM :: [ link ] :: (17) comments Social Bookmark Button

Comments are Closed On this Post

17 previous comments:

Quality post Dan! Excellent stuff!

I had wasps last year and did nothing, this year they're not here! Hooray!

By Blogger Joshua, at 6:08 PM  

I have never laughed so hard in my life. Do they not have people called exterminators in the mid-west? (you know, the ones that get rid of animal pests - not people pests!) They have professional quality kill equipment - for about $50 you could have been done with this with much less anxiety!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:31 AM  

Less anxiety but no good story to speak of.

Maybe the dead squirrel was actually the silent message of an ally.

Or maybe it caught a face full of poison from the gonzo attack gone awry.

By Blogger PrincessMax, at 8:50 AM  

How about that scorekeeping? A little off, huh? I mean, you killed probably hundreds of them, but you don't get any points at all? whatever. The fake victim thing is SOOOOOO my mother-in-law.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:56 AM  

Great story, well told! You should have had some of your friends over to help evaluate the battle as you got into it. I'm sure they would have been helpful!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:04 AM  

surely the bees heard all the buzz (pun intended) about planetdan, checked it out and learned about your aversion to squirrels... I agree. the squirrel was a peace offering

By Anonymous Rebecca, at 9:41 AM  

Good god, man. YOU killed the squirrel. And that stench coming from next door? When was the last time you saw those neighbors?

The HazMat clean-up in your future is gonna cost a whole lot more than the exterminator.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:42 PM  

Oh my lord. Thanks for the amusing read.

Maybe get drunk first? I had to walk by a bees' nest one night to move her sprinkler. I'd been drinking and decided I didn't care if I got stung once or twice. Your situation sounds much more scary though.

Good luck and keep us all posted.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:40 PM  

This is hilarious! I love you Dan!

By Anonymous Robert, AZ, at 8:15 PM  

LOL! OMG you are such a girl.

You know me, I would've taken pictures, evaluated what the activity of said bees could possibly mean about the upcoming winter (because animal activity can predict things you know) and then doused it with poison, and dissected it...


your sister

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:54 PM  

I absolutely love your blog. Your writing is hilarious! Thanks for adding some amusement to my boring life.

By Blogger Kristi, at 8:45 AM  

I agree with princessmax...Dan probably decided to embark on this bee exterminating adventure just to spin a good tale for us. Thanks Dan...we love you!

By Blogger Trudy, at 9:29 AM  

Hello, Dan. The bee who stung you was my brother. You will pay for this. We killed that squirrel. That was practice. You're next.

By Anonymous The Bees, at 10:21 AM  

I have been WONDERING when you were going to go back to the hilarious stories that brought me to you in the first place. I peed a little. Granted I was reading on the toilet but...

Boil a HUGE pot of water, then pour it on the stairs. It works better if you start screaming in Latin (it was the Romans that poured hot oil on their enemies, right?)

By Anonymous Alicia, at 2:51 PM  

It's unfortunate that you had to kill all of those bees, considering the disappearing bee problem that we're currently facing with Colony Collapse Disorder in North America, and the trouble that could spell for our crops and plant life.

By Anonymous Heather, at 3:52 PM  

The tree-huggers are out in full force on this post, much like they were in my spider-killing post last week (Spiders are holy animals!).

By Blogger Bob, at 3:22 PM  

hahaha I just read this at work and i was trying to muffle my laughs, but it is impossible.

By Anonymous Rachel, at 12:57 PM  

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