Sunday, July 27, 2008

Bees: 3 Brian: 2 (or Bad Bee Karma)

Yesterday I discovered some hornets were building a nest in the outside basement door at my condo. When I say "discovered", it wasn't one of the those "Aha"-type scientific discoveries. This was more of uncomfortable realization that some hornets were buzzing around my head and were bumping into my body as I was walking through the doorway.

Unfortunately for me, this door is the main exit I must use for bringing large items out from storage (such as my kayak). I managed to avoid getting stung yesterday, but today, while trying to put my kayak away, I didn't have as much luck. The hornets appear to have made a nest in the grated window frame of the door. It's a heavy steel door - sorta what you might expect to see on the outside of a factory building (which makes sense since the condo used to be a factory). I figured I'd just prop the door open, keeping the hornets on the other side of the door while I lugged a bunch of kayaking and windsurfing gear back into my storage unit.

This plan didn't go so well. The hornets appear to have a great sense of navigation, so much so that the hornet scouts, returning from whatever missions hornet scouts perform, flew directly to the location where the door's window used to be. And then they'd just hover there - apparently knowing they were in the right place - but for some reason unbeknownst to them, their home was no longer there. Meanwhile, I just plowed right through the doorway, assuming the hornets would all be where I now temporarily relocated their home. This put me on a nice collision course with some disoriented hornets. I was able to successfully brush off the one hornet on the back of my neck that appeared be interested in seeing if its home was down my shirt, but I didn't have as much luck with the other one that decided to just sting me in the back without any warning.

I had tried to be nice, but I draw the line at getting stung in the back. So, I had to resort to another mass killing. Out came the can of Raid raining death on all hornets in the vicinity. (Actually, it was a much slower process. I first had to walk to the nearby convenience store, discover Raid for hornets and wasps isn't a convenience item, walk back home, get in the car, drive a bit further to the local Stop & Shop, navigate the aisles, wait in a long line, pay for the Raid (death only costs $4.99), drive back home, and then send poison rain down upon my hornet adversaries. But, that takes a lot longer to say.)

So, I now racked up some more bad-karma points with the bee-kind. And killing all those hornets doesn't make my back feel any better.