Friday, May 01, 2009

Bee Advised

Yes, my first thought when I heard about the bees yesterday was about all the stories I've read saying there are less and less of them and it's reaching a crisis. My second though was that there were bees. In the house. With grandpa.

Now, because I know most of you have never met grandpa, let me share a little insight. Grandpa is the type of guy (and I say this with all love and respect) that would wait until he was in the house all by himself, and then try his damndest to figure out the surest way of pissing off a hive of honeybees. And then not call anyone to let them know that he'd been stung about a hundred times and he was going to go lie down now.

So as much as I didn't want to have to kill the bees, I damn sure didn't want to leave them in the house with grandpa, either.

I will freely admit that yesterday, when it looked like there was no way we were getting a Bee Guy out that night, I advised SweetPea to get an exterminator on the line, explain to them that there are no pets and no toddlers in the house, and that they could feel free to launch whatever variety of poison they wished up grandpa's chimney as long as they got the damn bees out.

But then that one guy said to light a fire, which had the effect of distracting everyone for the remainder of the evening.

This morning, grandpa got on the phone with a Bee Guy that SweetPea had talked to yesterday and had him come out.

This bee guy, by the way, was one of the reasons for my frustration yesterday, and, had we, indeed, fumigated the hive, I'd have laid the blame squarely on him.

Mr. Bee Guy, you see, spoke with a very heavy Russian accent and proceeded to spend large chunks of the phone conversation attempting to flirt with my wife over her bee distress (oh, buddy, if you only knew). And, also, made her repeat every damn thing at least once. And then said to see how things go tonight and he could maybe come out tomorrow if they were still there.


Anywho, grandpa (who, by the way, is pretty damn deaf and has a hard time on the phone) called Mr. Bee Guy (thick Russian accent, also, apparently, hard of hearing) this morning and had him come out to the house (can you just picture that conversation?). Mr. Bee Guy did his whatever it is he does and told grandpa that it would be a day or two before we would know for sure if it worked.


He also said there'd be no charge for him to come back out if it didn't work.

In order to extract bees from a location without simply poisoning the fuck out of them (hi!), you have to get the queen. Which, apparently, is rather tricky.

Now, here is where SweetPea and I have had a disagreement. Mr. Bee Guy charged grandpa for the bee removal ($155, if you must know).

SweetPea contends that Mr. Bee Guy is going to colonize the bees and likely use them for profit, so should not have charged grandpa.

My contention is that Mr. Bee Guy performed a service for grandpa, and, as such, should receive remuneration.

Opinions? Is it normal for a Bee Guy to charge for bee removal?


Loki's Dad said...

Oh, dear, your bee guy sounds like trouble. I think what you have is a swarm, which is when there is a new, baby queen that leaves an existing hive. A bunch of bees from the existing hive, including lots of drones (males, who only have one purpose) get drunk on lots of honey, fly to a new spot, and then, well, suffice it to say that a queen only gets fertilized once in her life, by all the drones, and it takes awhile. In other words, you had a serious animal channel clusterphaque going on on grandpa's chimney, and you probably had a couple of days before they decided to do any hive building. A real beekeeper would have gone up on the roof, got the queen, the swarm would probably been docile, and they would have followed the queen.
I know a number of beekeepers in SF who would be there in a flash to get a new hive. In fact, as I understand it, when there's a swarm in town the beekeepers race to get their first. Whatever.
Do make sure the chimney is checked for wax when its all over. You wouldn't want it to catch fire if they did start building.

Wine Dog said...

They do charge, but yeah, everything he said.

And you don't kill bees. I think there's a law against it actually.

dolphyngyrl said...

For clarification, Mr. Bee Guy did go up on the roof to get the queen. I guess we're waiting to see if he actually got the right bee. I mean, I'm thinking that wouldn't be too hard, but I'm not a Bee Guy, so what do I know?

So, um, grandpa could be in trouble for Aggravated Vaccuuming?

Also, SweetPea says Mr. Bee Guy wasn't Russian. To which I replied "well, that's the accent you were mimicking."