Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I Fall for the Carpenter Bees

I felt a little regretful about yesterday's blog when I woke up this morning. I knew this was bound to happen because when I sit down to write, I may be having a bit of a mood sometimes. I also have discovered that I never really know what is going to come out until I begin. I think that, being human, sometimes I will be up and sometimes down, so what I write may even be affected by the weather, but that is okay. I can live with a little regret. So maybe I did go a bit overboard yesterday.

I resolved that whatever happened today, I would try to be a little more lighthearted about my subject matter. I went out to the garden early today to shovel gravel and pull weeds as, again, it promised to be an absolutely glorious spring day followed by a gray and rainy one. I knew that I had several hours of tedious computer work after that, so I was completely enjoying the experience of being out there and doing resistance training of a sort, especially because I am starting to really see progress. Yesterday, Saul and I filled our planters that winter over in the garage with additional flowers. I designed, and Saul and I built, a private arbor outside Mom's room with a rack at the top of the walls to hold these planters. The slats at the top of the arbor are where the carpenter bees like to build their nests by boring holes into them.

Yesterday, after Saul finished placing each carefully arranged planter into place, he noticed a single carpenter bee hovering. He grabbed the net to try to kill it, but it seemed to be very clever. It kept flying around and hovering just above the slats where he could not swing the net to bag it. It played this game with the two of us for about a half of an hour until we gave up and went inside for dinner. During the time that it was hovering, I had a chance to really observe it closely. As insects go, it was really kind of cute--fuzzy, and fat--and it seemed to have our number. It really bothers me to kill bees even when they are destroying all our hard work and monetary investment. And this one, in particular, just seemed so intelligent.

Today, when I finished my gardening, I went inside to the kitchen to drink a mug of water and I was looking out the window at the planters. A carpenter bee was checking out the arbor and gazebo for the best place to begin drilling. I decided not to do anything about it. What was the big deal? We had so many holes to be plugged up already and maybe it would decide to move on to more promising territory. There are wood fences and firewood piles all around the neighborhood. Then, as I watched, another bee showed up, and finally a third. I couldn't stand it anymore. I put my Crocs back on, went out onto the deck and grabbed the net that Saul had left at the ready the night before. These bees were not the smart ones, I thought, because they were hovering right where I could bag them. But as I began to swing the net, I suddenly realized that there were now about five of them dive-bombing me. I have lots of allergies and I have never been stung, so I don't know what effect that would have. I just recently learned that the female carpenter bees who have yellow faces are capable of stinging. I panicked, ducked my head and tried to run back to the kitchen sliding door just a few feet away. I tripped over the pole and fell hard onto the deck on my right side. It was such a shock! I haven't fallen in many years. I thought I had broken something because I could not get up on the first try. On the second try I made it because I was desperate to get back in the house. As it turned out, I just had the wind knocked out of me. There don't appear to be any broken or cracked ribs. The big lump on the outside of my forearm went down a lot when I applied ice. I have one bloody scape at my wrist, and my knees under my jeans have only lost the first couple layers of skin. The side of my face hit the deck very lightly, so no damage there. I was very lucky.

I am going to be a coward from now on and let Saul do the killing. He doesn't care whether they have intelligence or not. If they are destroying his hard work, they must die. We both agree, however, that it would be wonderful if there was some substance that could be painted or sprayed on that would not be poisonous to us and that would make our cedar deck a less attractive place for carpenter bees to nest.

1 comment:

sabasenders said...

He doesn't care whether they have intelligence or not...

Yes he does. But, they do not seem intelligent enough to recognize where they are not welcome guests.

I wish one could invent a distateful "green" concoction, that I could use to cover the deck and house, that would deter these visitors.

Thank g-d the fall was not as bad as it could have been.