Friday, January 30, 2009

Lesson of the Week: Don’t Fool With Mother Nature (or the Queen Bee)

Things had been going rather smoothly after the holidays and it seemed like a good week to begin some new jewelry designs for the spring. Over the week-end, I began putting together the blueprint of a new necklace that was intended as a little “thank you” for a friend. Dana had requested something clear, black and/or grey and I was thrilled to finally have the chance to use some of the gorgeous tourmilated quartz gemstones I had acquired at the last Tucson Gem Show.

On Monday, our pest control company was attending a colony of bees that had been making a home in the facade wall of our garage. This visit was round two of three and involved the application of a neurotoxin for the bees that would render the hive inactive. Visit three was planned to remove the honeycomb after the bees were killed in order to keep another hive from becoming attracted by the pheromones of the first honeycomb. Obviously, the bee specialist was very knowledgeable in his science as well as the culture of the bees. Monday came and went with nothing unusual except for a few quiet hours that were spent uninterrupted – allowing me to complete Dana’s beautiful necklace of rock crystal, black onyx and unique tourmilated onion briolettes peppered with black straws.

Tuesday was spent running errands in the morning and working on the computer late into the afternoon and early evening. Just before dinnertime, I looked up from the computer after hearing a strange noise only to realize there was a bee in my office buzzing around. I called Olivia & Asher (my King Charles Cavaliers) out of the room and closed the door. As we moved closer to the kitchen, I could see that not only were there at least a dozen bees circling the lights in our 12’ ceiling but another dozen or so had landed on the floor and were buzzing around there as well. With no door to close, it was “retreat #2” for us and off to the Master Bedroom we went. Apparently, the bees had not discovered that area just yet.

After a quick call to my hubby to inform him we would be staying at a hotel that night, another call to the bee specialist and gathering up our necessities, we took off for “retreat #3” – the local Residence Inn. So far, the bees seemed to be winning the war!

Wednesday morning I met the bee specialist and dressed in a full bee suit, he applied yet another application and warned me that we might want to stay at the hotel another night just to be safe. According to the specialist, Thursday morning was determined as the date and time we would have won the war of the bees. On Thursday morning, I entered the house very quietly to make certain I was not hearing the hum of the bees as they circled the rooms looking for a hostage. All was quiet and I felt relieved that we might be able to finally check out of the hotel and come home again.

Much to my shock, when I entered the Kitchen and Family Room I was confronted by not just a dozen or two dead bees. . . but more than 100+. Needless to say, all day Thursday was spent cleaning up bees and listening for their return. After all, we had executed their Queen and the little workers had no one to give them orders in addition to being poisoned.

In retrospect, I should probably have called out a beekeeper when I was informed by the specialist that the bees in my facade were “just Honey Bees – not Killer Bees”. But, living in Arizona, all bees are guilty until proven innocent and I suspect have gotten a bad rap from their gang member cousins – the “Killer Bees”. Lesson learned – don’t fool with Mother Nature or the Queen Bee!