Saturday, August 29, 2009

Be Careful What You Ask For

because the universe has a perverse sense of humor!

I had been mourning the lack of bees and expressing how tough it was going to be if our crops had to be hand pollinated. We are incredibly dependent on bees.

When I was first trying to get back into painting after a long time away I painted that little bee. So in my general lament over the loss of bees while having to hand pollinate my zucchini I think I may have unintentionally manifested bees in abundance.

I'm very glad I had just let my pup back into the house one early Friday afternoon, because about a minute later I heard the strangest sound, and had to get back up from my work to investigate. It didn't quite sound like an engine, a mower, or a power tool, but had some aspect of all of those, though it was a buzzy whine I hadn't heard before. I looked out the back door and moving into the center of my patio was a small whirlwind full of tiny dark objects. It took a few seconds for those objects to register as BEES! LOTS of bees! All I could think was "Oh holy crap, please keep going!" Well apparently that's not what bees do. These guys started peeling off the tornado and landing on my stack of moving boxes which we had intended to donate. Then they started disappearing. They were crawling into one of the boxes! I spent the rest of the day learning all about bees.

This is the time of year that hives split up. The swarms are a set of workers protecting a queen who has decided due to the birth of a younger queen to move along. The swarm will alight and rest when it is tired as it is searching. It may land in a tree and stay for a few days while scouts search for a good area near a food source to build the next hive. There had been bees in a tree a few streets down and over where we walk. I don't know if it was this hive or another. It didn't matter, I didn't want them! I had wanted more bees, true, but this was ridiculous. I had a swarm living next to my back gate, and six feet away from where we like to sit at night, and right in front of my motorcycle! How would I let my dog out? How would I get my bike out? How would I get into my garage? It was all about me.

So I spoke to a lot of bee people in between Googling bees. I was able to get from a quote of $200.00 eventually to free from the city to remove them. The city wanted to wait a week or so though. The blessing was that these weren't Africanized bees; supposedly we do have them in Southern California but most of the bee people I spoke to said no we really didn't in L.A., that they were just our usual honeybees. These were actually very non aggressive bees, especially since they did not yet have a hive to protect, so they were still vagabonds. They may have been resting or they may have had scouts come tell them all about the really cool boxes next to the zucchini and tomato plants, plus our lemons were in full flower, so it was a great location, c'mon, follow us! Anyway, they settled. I didn't want to be deprived of my patio etc. for a week or so while they possibly got completely entrenched, so I used a long rake and knocked all the boxes down one or two at a time, carefully retreating as deemed necessary until I could pull their box free and open it up. I was hoping they would get the hint that it was no longer a great place to park. I also found out they go to sleep at night. This is what they looked like later when they were sleeping.

If you click on the pic you can just get an idea of what a cantaloupe size ball of bees looks like in a book/record box. Aren't they just adorable? They were hanging from the inside "ceiling" of the box, and they were making a soft rustling vibration sound. They were also chewing on the box; they'd been chewing on it all day, and I think they were getting into adding wax to it before they went to sleep. I was actually getting pretty fond of them, but eventually they were encouraged to move on. I wished them well.

Now about the car I asked for. I got two, a month apart. One has a failing clutch but great cold air and a super CD sound system and drives like a rocket. The other has a crappy radio and a leaky manifold and a bad tire but it can haul a truckload of stuff, and the air works, so it's great for me because I have to move big things sometimes. Plus it was mine once before, so we have an understanding, this car and me. He "waves" hello at me with his wipers.

What I should have made clear when I asked for a car was one great car with everything working properly would be sufficient. Because I wasn't super happy with the first but was very grateful for wheels, I got a much better one but it needs a bit of work. But now I'm stuck with the first one too. But I'm still exceedingly grateful for the abundance!

Now I'm asking for financial gain from painting again. I'm doing my best to be careful with that request, that it be answered in the best possible way. There will be some work posted shortly, so check back every now and then. Then it will be more of "still painting", but even if it's daily I'm not committing myself to that movement. At this point with 3 PT jobs and looking for another, once a week is good. See you next time.

1 comment:

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

evidently, they weren't just stopping by ;D