Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My Garden Drama

I love gardening. I used to watch my mama plant flowers and dig in the dirt for hours and think "ewww". It looked boring. Now that I am a mama, I get it. Its so rewarding to see things that you have planted bloom and come to life. Its also frugal! I can feed my family and know where the food comes from, that it will last longer and its fresh. I also have used it this year to teach my three year old about growing living things. I love my little garden!

I was working in the backyard with my hubby and kidlets last week. My 3 year old decided that he had done enough and happily turned the shovel and plants over to me for the joy of the bubble mower and soccer net. I was enjoying the quiet and comfort that only digging in rich soil can bring. I did notice some buzzing but I had been sick for a couple of weeks. I had been hearing buzzing, ringing and weirdo noises for weeks now. I then heard my hubby call to me.

"Ummmm, honey?"

I responded with a "yeah" slightly annoyed by the interruption.

"Are those bees over your head?"

I looked up and saw......thousands of bees over my head. I would call it a swarm. No actually I would call it a Moses like plague. (Remember the locusts?) I froze in terror. I am not normally scared of bees but hellooooooooo!!!

I quickly threw my spade down and ran like my tushy was on fire across the yard. This caught the eye of my 1 year old who started clapping. ( It must have been quite the run :) ) We all stood together and watched the black cloud hover over our garden. ( Also conveniently located by the kids swing set.... of course. )

We made a run for the house and of course glued our noses, foreheads and hands to the windows and doors, watching the little black cloud. The kids soon lost interest and hubby and I just looked at each other wondering what we should do.

I went outside a couple hours later and saw this...

That dark spot in the middle was a couple hundred bees that were attached to tree.

My hubby started making calls to people. He started giving me strange looks and it wasn't long before our phone started ringing off the hook. It turns out that bees are a big deal. I guess last year there was a bee shortage and as a result flowers and veggies suffered. I also learned that this type of activity means that there is a new queen in town looking for a new place to call home. Very exciting stuff I am told..... We had different "save the bee" people calling us telling us that they would come and get the bees, study them etc. Begging us not to kill them.

That night the whole family went out to look at our new guests. They seemed to be gone. My heart went pitter pat... I was so excited that we would not have to deal with this newest drama. That was when we saw a couple of bees enter the tree. That's right... they made their hive inside the tree with a hole no bigger than the length of a pencil. Seems like our backyard seemed like home sweet home. ( I would like to interject at this point to say that its my assumption that bees are not the smartest insect since our neighbors has one of those bee boxes trying to get bees to set up house. )

Over the next couple of days bee experts visited our backyard, all with the same outcome. They couldn't get to the bees. They pleaded with us. They said that bees wouldn't hurt us or bother us just please don't kill them.

Now I am all for saving the wildlife especially ones that will pollinate my pumpkins. We are leaving them for now because we have not noticed big activity. The first time one of my babies get stung however..... it's on. I will be on those bees like a spider monkey on mountain dew. There is only room for one queen in this yard and that would be me.


Amanda said...

I think you made the right choice! I'm with you though if they sting one of your babies they are going down!!

Kelli said...

That would scare the heeby jeebies out of me. I hate bees. One of my neighbors has those bee boxes too and I hope it helps to keep the bees AWAY from me. I hope they go away.

Katy said...

Wow, I had no idea that spider monkeys were so into Mountain Dew! ;-)

Katy said...

Oh yeah, and I'm totally with you on the bee thing, too. :-) I'm not sure that I would be able to step outside again until they were gone!!!

Amy said...

I would freak out if there were a bee hive in my yard. I have a single bumblebee that has been hovering near my deck for the past week. It alone gives me the heebie-jeebies. I can't imagine a whole swarm.

On the upside, you should have plenty of bees around to pollinate your garden.

Amanda said...

Oh my gosh! I would have kept running and been down the block! Keep us posted!

Found you courtesy of $5 Dinners!

Sharon said...

Oh! how scary! I had bees in my wall last year and this year they are gone! We did not have to do anything but put up with them all summer. No one got stung at all! and they moved on.

IMO I would not kill them if there is any other way! Bees are dying by the thousands and if they don't pollinate the crops, we don't eat! It is a serious problem. This is more than recycling this is about whether we have food to eat or not!
I would think a beekeeper could figure out how to move them?

I remember as a very young child, I was about 4-5 years old, I had just learned the Baby Bumble Bee song. I caught a honey bee to take it home to show my mommy and of course it stung me! lol!

Liz said...

Hi! I'm just a visitor to the blog but I have a friend who keeps bees as a hobby. Generally, if honeybees have flowers to keep them happy, they're too busy getting pollen to notice you. So, if you happen to have fruit trees of any kind, they'll probably eat from those a lot and leave you guys alone (and you'll have a productive tree!). And, once the sun starts to go down, they are less active. It's the wasps, hornets, and yellowjackets that are the really mean ones and will go after you.

I'm not sure how big your yard is, but my friend's bees are only in large numbers really close to their hive. Otherwise they're all spread out looking for pollen. She had a "bees at work" sign up to warn people, but I went right over to check out her little bee box and they didn't bother me at all and just went about their business. :)

I had another beekeeper friend who bought the box and the mesh suit and a box of bees (that the post office REALLY begged her to come pick up) and the bees up and left her after a year. So, they might move on to somewhere else on their own.

It looks like you already contacted people, but there's an Ohio State Beekeeper's Association that will setup bee boxes on peoples' property and care for them...maybe they could set something up with the hope that the bees would move into it and could then be relocated? Their website is here:

Hope that helps!