The Bee Man Cometh

John W. Pinkerton

Recently we had a bee infestation.  The clue was that they were dropping dead near the kitchen sink.  The
ones who weren't quite dead didn't seem to me to be a big bother, but Linda seemed to be prejudiced against them.

She called a bee man.

If it had been up to me, I would probably never have done anything about the wayward bees.  I've, unlike Linda, become extremely tolerant of life's little inconveniences.

Of course, all of this bee business has caused me to think about bees, and if I think about a subject, I usually write about it, thus this essay.

The bee man finally showed up.  He wasn't late.  The weather had been awful.  I found the bee man to be interesting.  He had been a manager in Houston of a chain of convenience stores but had retired for health reasons.  Bad thing for him, but a good thing for Linda.  He was available.

When he finally showed up, we chatted about the bee situation, and he informed me that he would probably need to remove some of the siding from our house.  Now I was dragged into the whole mess because Linda would want me to hire someone to fix the damage which I wouldn't do because it would take me longer to explain to a repairman what I wanted done than it would be for me to fix it myself.  In other words, I was about to become part of the whole bee thing.

The bee man dropped off a bee box near the location of the bees in the hope that they would migrate to their proposed new home.  I think he said something about scenting the box to attract the bees to it.  The bees must have had problems with their olfactory sensors because they never took a second glance at the bee box.

Weather again delayed the bee man, but he and a nephew, a much younger fellow, showed up and were ready to remove the bees.  Crap,   there goes my wall.

The damage to the wall was minimal, the bees were removed via a vacuum cleaner and taken to their new home with the bee man, and Linda is happy…happier.

After a month or so, I got around to fixing my damaged wall…kinda.  I'll finish the job later…putty and paint and such.

Unlike some folks, I'm not much interested in bees.  For those of you who are, here a few facts about bees:

Bee venom may prevent HIV.

Bee venom may ease rheumatoid arthritis.

Bee brains age backward…what?  Some scientists believe they may hold the key to solving dementia problems in humans.

Bees are definitely workers: they usually work themselves to death in about six weeks.  Gee, guys, lighten up.

Bees reinforce their hives with a resin from evergreen trees, “propolis.”  Research indicates that it may relieve cold sores, herpes, cavities, and a few other ailments.

Apparently bees make out faces the way we do.  They cobble together eyebrows, lip, ears, et cetera to make out the whole face.  How the Hell they know this is beyond me.  I can't speak to the veracity of this “fact” for bees, but I know damned well that yellow jackets instantly recognize me and attempt to sting me for no apparent reason other than the fact that they can.

Caffeine helps bees remember better where the flowers are.  On the other hand, cocaine makes them big fat liars.  How this information is helpful escapes me.

Bees always follow the shortest routes between flower locations; I suspect they're better at routing than the ding-dang GPS which often tells lies.

Bees produce a lot of honey: Americans consume 285 million pounds of honey each year.  The bee man, after removing the combs, and there were a lot of them, from the wall, offered Linda a hunk of it so that she could lick the honey from it.  Linda, bless her heart, declined the offer.  Apparently she wants her honey to come from a jar.

Personally, I'm not interested in all of these bee facts.  As long as they stay away from Linda's house, I'm satisfied with the fact that for the most part they are useful.  If the bees again decide our house would make a good home, we'll call the same bee man again.  He charged 1970 prices for his service, did minimal damage to my wall, and has a pleasant personality.

If you need a bee guy, call Charlie Mott.



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