To Bee or Not to Bee

A few days ago we noticed some bees congregating around a crack in the plaster board over the house foundations. Nobody thought much of it and we simply gave the place a wide berth on the way to the front gate. The bees continued to gather inside and around the crack, but they settled down towards the evening so we weren’t particularly bothered. Plus, we know that bees are a vital part of Australia’s ecology, and good for plants in the garden, so mum especially was in favour of leaving them alone. I’m allergic to bee stings (not in a deadly way; it just gets worse with every sting), but I also know that most bees are not inherently aggressive, so I agreed that it was fine for the time being. I was however slightly worried about the dog, who has previously attempted to eat bees. At any rate, we were busy and forgot about it.

A Yellow and Black Carpenter Bee, which is the most likely species of our residents.
A Yellow and Black Carpenter Bee, which I believe to be the species of our residents.

This morning I got up and, as I went to look out the front window, I heard what can only be described as an ominous buzzing noise. I looked out and saw that the front garden was indeed full of swarming bees, moving in swirls and eddies like an airborne maelstrom.

swarmofbees
Bees. Thousands of them.

I had previously suggested calling the local beekeeper, and no action had been taken, but my family now agreed that something would have to be done if we ever wanted to go from the front door to the garden gate again. So my mum called a beekeeper, and here’s the bad news: because the bees had taken up residence under the house, the bee removalist wouldn’t be able to get at them. That means we would have to call in pest control to fumigate the poor buggers. Needless to say, no one was particularly fond of this idea.

As it is, the bees have stopped swarming – for the moment – and apparently gone inside for a siesta. But having seen the sheer numbers of them, dad and I are not entirely convinced of the safety of the front garden, for the dog or anyone else. Mum is still trying to find an alternative course of action that doesn’t involve mass murder. Nobody wants to be responsible for killing thousands of a creature we are desperately trying to maintain the population of. Stay tuned for the buzz.

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