Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Year of the Bee, Yellow Jacket or Whatever the Hell They Are

Dayum, people, are we overrun or what?

In the last couple of weeks* here in Squarebanks, the CabinDwelling Compound and pretty much every other place I've been has been swarming, literally, with what appear to my untrained eye to be yellow jackets.

Ya know, the smallish bee-like critters that have a taste for meat?

Seriously, we were smoking fish** and the little buggers were taking out CHUNKS of fish flesh.

That is not ordinary bee activity.

And it's not just out in the Goldstream Valley, either. I went for lunch today at the Chena Pumphouse and they wouldn't seat us on the deck. Our server told us that the bees are so bad out there that they shut down the deck after a pack of them carried off a small tourist child. And at our company picnic last Friday, quite a number of them were going after the pulled pork.***

I've been stung plenty in my lifetime already, so I know that I'm not allergic. But as a H20-challenged household, we're facing other problems. How to put this delicately?

See, back out in CabinDwelling Land, they like the outhouse. And there is NO situation that fills a person with so much..
trepidation... as sitting down on the blue foam in your outdoor restroom after you've seen a yellow jacket fly out from down below and hear four or five others buzzing around nearby. There are some places you just don't want to get stung. (Or have to place an ice pack, for that matter.) And it's not just the thought of how ungodly painful that might be.

Can you imagine going to the emergency room for relief and becoming that person that the e.r. people will always tell a story about?

"Yeah, well, back in 2006, we had this woman come in who had been stung while using her outhouse. Yeah, you-know-where. We had to restrain her, you know, just to do an examination. She wouldn't leave till we prescribed her Tylenol 3."

*I'm guessin', folks. But it seems to have begun in mid-July.
**Insert stupid joke now about how ya didn't know it was possibly to smoke fish. Make pantomine of taking a draw off a cigarette, cigar or one of them funny hand-rolled ones.
I had to fight them off with an axe handle. I'm very fond of bbq'ed pig. (Which was quite tasty. Thank you, Player's Grill.)


Kristin said...

Tylenol 3?! Please. For that kind of trauma you should get heavy artillery narcotics and a cocktail. I need a cocktail just thinking about it.

Deirdre Helfferich said...

We've got three nests in our yard, two of which have migrated twice. So I'm not sure if that means we've had five or one and a couple of mobile swarms (it's hard to tell when you don't want to get close enough to count). Anyway, one is in the compost pile, one is in/under an old dishwasher that's been sitting in our yard for umpty-bumpty years, one is in a mattress that we hauled (with nest) off the edge of our local (but still too nearby for comfort) cliff, and so far nobody's nesting in the outhouse, but they do come around and investigate when we're taking a pee or whatever.

The hornets (those are the big black and white monsters that kill the yellowjackets) have also been fat and happy this year. We still have a few bumblebees hanging around, but they look small and meek and scarce in comparison to the hordes of Vespas... almost no aphids on any of my plants this year. My hubby's been stung several times. I suppose that comes from being out there vacuuming the buggers up and hauling their mattress digs out of the driveway. I have been huddling safe inside, where we only have a dozen or two wanderers trying to get out.

Mary said...

And here I was thinking I was the only one with yellowjackets in my outhouse. I guess I should be happy it's getting cold, because they're starting to disappear.