Don’t Make Bees Mad and Hang Around to Talk

For the past few weeks my kids have been telling me there are bees in the basement.  We would always have 1 or 2 every year but it was no big deal.  Yesterday morning while reading the paper I found one flying around in the kitchen.  It clicked in my memory banks that I had to look into the bee problem.

Our house has a bay window that is poorly constructed and is opened into the house.  In the past I added some extra insulation and plywood to try to seal it up.  It worked to some extent.  But now it seemed there were bees below the bay window.  I went outside to check and there were about 30 bees flying around one of the posts holding up the window.  I looked below, being careful to stay away from what I thought was the entrance point.  And there it was.  They were buzzing around and crawling inside and out.  My first thought was to spray the entryway to the hive.  And so that is what I did.  I bet you can imagine what happened next.  The bees got mad and more showed up.  The basement had to be inspected to see what effect the spray had.  Down in the basement by the assumed hive location there were now about 10 bees flying around.  I killed them all.  Climbing a small step-ladder to see if I could see an opening I heard the buzzing.  It was pretty loud.  Thinking quickly I decided that the plywood and insulation needed to come down.  Back upstairs I went to start my career as an exterminator.

Oblivious to the bees buzzing around I began the work needed to take down the plywood.  I was doing a pretty good job pulling nails and became really focused on the task at hand.  Big mistake.  First I feel a sharp feeling on my head and moved quickly to whack it away.  No damage done.  I become more focused on getting plywood off.  And bam! A bee anchors itself onto my hand.  I shook my hand and realized the bee didn’t come off.  I swiped it away and it was off.  I hadn’t been stung in over 20 years and it hurt.  Sharp pains through my hand.  It was like someone stuck a needle in my hand.

I tried to remember what to do with a bee sting.  I remembered something to do with baking soda.  I put some baking soda with water on my hand and hoped it would help.  I went back to work and removed the plywood.  No other injuries occurred.  Many more bees appeared and I knew more spray was needed.

In the interim more bees had entered the basement.  That escape route for the bees had to be blocked.  Plastic was secured and no other bees go into the basement.  So now, sweating in the heat with a bunch of wet baking soda on my hand I went to the hardware store and got some additional bee spray.  I went at it with a vengeance and hoped that the bees were finished.  There weren’t as many now and I could get closer with a stick and other tools to scrape out the hive.  I kept spraying though because the bees just kept coming back.  The picture here shows the remnants of what I was able to pull out of this area.  The hive was right above this post.

 So I figure that I am all set.  Bees killed, the sting wasn’t too bad.  Now I was off to my son’s hockey game.  Had to take a shower first, shave and all that is necessary to look like a respectable coach in front of the kids and parents.  I get into the shower, run the stung hand under the water and wowwee, it was like a knife through the hand.  The pain subsided and I got use to it.  Funny thing happened though, the hand started to swell up.  Nothing much at first but it has gotten worse to the point where it is moving up my wrist.

The first picture is my left hand with the bee sting and the second is my right hand, what my left hand should look like.  Not that I don’t have fat hands, I prefer to think of them as muscular.  They are not dainty that is for sure.  However, the way it looks now is ridiculous.  I am loading up the hydrocortisone and pumping in the Benadryl.  If it isn’t better tomorrow I am going to the doctor again.  And that story will have to be told another time.

P.S. Looking at these pictures now my hands really are not photogenic.  I could never be a hand model.

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