Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bees, the Arcade Game!

This is another miscellaneous post.

I live in southern California, and work in a converted porch surrounded by windows. Behind my desk and monitor is a window wall overlooking a grape arbor, and there is a hole in the wall for TV and computer cables.

It's bee season; Africanized honeybees swarm with their young queen, looking for a place to establish a hive. If they find a good location, they stay; otherwise, the swarm moves on.

One day two weeks ago, a swarm discovered our grape arbor. Which would be fine, but...
Every now and then, a bee would discover the cable port, walk in, and find herself behind my desk.
Here's the sequence:
  • The worker lands on the edge of the hole and walks in. Her feet leave a faint aroma for her peers to follow.
  • Vrrooop! She hovers up between the wall and the desk, to find herself at a window.
  • Buzz-bump-buzz-bump-etc., as she flies from my northwest corner of the room to the sunny south side.
  • (Oblivious, I'm working on my computer.)
  • A second bee lands on the edge of the cable port, finds a faint bee scent and follows...
After three bees, I figured I'd better get them out of the room. It's hard to persuade them out an open window; I succeed with one, and she tries to come back in the window I'd opened for her. The other two get the fly swatter treatment, but as they do....
  • I hear Vrrooop sounds.
There are now six bees in the room, buzzing and bumping along the windows.

They must be thinking in bee language:
"Hmm, footprints!
"I hear buzzing in there.
"Nobody's come out; hmm-mmm.
"Promising! Let's check it out."
  • Vrrooop! Vrrooop! Vrrooop! Twelve bees in the room.
I'm just waiting for some bee to let the queen know this looks good.

My sweet husband finally dodged the bees outside, took a can of foam sealant goop (recommended) and plugged the entrance hole. Then he and I got to swatting. By the next day, the swarm had passed on, and I got to vacuum away about three dozen dead bees.

Final score: Us 40 or so, Bees 0. But it could have been worse.

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