Friday, August 31, 2007

Revenge of the Bees

About a month ago I discovered a bees' nest in a shrub outside of the dojo where I take karate classes. Unfortunately, it was right beside the sidewalk so the nest needed to be removed before someone got stung. Not a big story - a can of Raid did the trick, although I did feel a bit bad about the mass killing, even if they are "just bees".

About a week later, I was sitting on my nephew's deck around dusk minding my own business and I felt something land in my hair. Since it was getting dark, I assumed it was a beetle or some other large night insect. The stabbing pain in my hand when I tried to brush it out of my hair told me I was mistaken. It was a bee. That was the first time I've been stung by a bee in the last 15 years or so. Then, a week later, I was hiking in the woods with some friends and again, without any sort of warning, I got stung in the arm by a bee. I'm starting to think they know I'm a bee murderer.

Now this past week, I've started finding a stray hornet or two in my bathroom. I thought it was a bit odd since I've been leaving the windows closed all the time, so I couldn't figure out how they were getting in. Since the ceilings are so high in my condo, and the wasps have generally been keeping to the ceiling area, I've been trying to avoid killing them, but I did have to vaccuum up a couple that were getting a bit too aggressive.

Tonight it appears the most recent wasp brought a bunch of friends. I looked up at the ceiling in my bathroom to see if the wasp was still around and was surprised when I saw this:

Two groups of hornets appear to be sleeping up on the ceiling. Here's a close-up of one group:

I'm not really sure how I should handle this one. The ceilings are 15 feet high, so it's not like it's easy to reach them. I'm hoping when morning comes they'll go back out the way they came in. Then I can try to get up on a ladder and find the hole they're coming in through and plug it. It would be a lot easier if they aren't still inside my condo when I try this. I'd prefer not to be balancing on a ladder 15 feet off the ground while dodging swarming hornets.