In most circles it would be considered rude to begin a suspenseful story one week, follow with a suspenseful update the next, then, having hooked your audience, fail to deliver the conclusion in a timely matter. I’m sorry, Zesties. As I’ve been gently reminded this week, I am a story-tease. If there were a story-court I’d be story-guilty in the first degree.
Hence, this post which aims to commute my sentence. blinks eyelashes appealingly
To what am I referring? If you follow me on Facebook, you might have read about our bee situation when I appealed for help from apiarists of the amateur or professional variety. Specifically, we found a bee hive in our yard this summer and wanted to know how to handle it. (We actually found two. One nest was under our front sidewalk, accessed by a tiny crack. But it was a nest full of friendly bumbles. You could stamp on the sidewalk for a full minute before a single bee would appear, look around half-heartedly, then head to a nearby blossom with all the aggressiveness and agility of a Boeing 787. In other words, we had no objection to letting them stay.)
Though the ToolMaster and I are aware about the threats to our precious pollinators, the second hive was troublesome. It was located in an eave of our garden shed, a few feet from the door, and populated by a swifter species of insect. As was rightly pointed out to me, they threatened anyone searching for a garden implement. So the TM and I talked it over and “decided” it had to go. We’d look for a professional who could trap the hive and move it to a rural location.
Do you see the quotes around decided in the last sentence? No, I have not committed a punctuation crime. Rather, the quotes were meant to express irony, because in the ToolMaster’s case, decided actually meant decided to deceive the wife. As in pretend that this plan would be actualized.
How did I become aware of this distinction, you ask? Why, the phone call from an apiarist supply store asking what size the ToolMaster meant to order when he paid for his bee suit. And smoker. And smoker pellets.
Yes, as it turned out, the tradition of DIY painting, DIY construction, DIY wiring, DIY plumbing and DIY had acquired another DIY extension without my express consent. So.
I fretted, peeps. Because of how the ToolMaster works, I fully expected the following to occur: I’d be writing to a rare deadline or entertaining our rare company or be one minute into a delicate, three-hour cooking project when I’d suddenly see him fitted out in his bee suit, smoker in hand, and be asked to attend to him within the next sixty seconds.
“Jan, can you keep the back door open in case I have to run for cover?”
“Jan, can you stand by with an Epipen?”
“Jan, can you let the neighbors know they must stay indoors until tomorrow morning?” Because let’s face it, when you’re suited-up in an unfamiliar outfit which obscures your vision, hands clumsy from fat mittens, performing a new-to-you activity while thousands of insects attempt to do you in, you should probably anticipate a lengthy process.
About the only potentially good thing to come from this activity, I thought, was that I’d get a photo-essay out of it and be able to revive this blog. Maybe I’d also get a lick or two of urban honey–sweet, with an undertone of smog and a hint of charcoal briquette.
And in fact, for your viewing pleasure, here are the pictures from that fateful day:
Yup. Are you feeling let down? I can’t blame you. Their non-existence created a distinct anti-climactic feeling within my breast, too.
The reason? As best we can determine, a series of high-80s/low-90s days, the shed’s black roof and its sun-warmed position drove the bees away from the shed. The ToolMaster noticed the lack of bee activity and, using the smoker for a touch of caution, took the flashing off the shed in a trice–without notifying me–and found a big fat nothing. No dead bees, as you might expect with Colony Collapse Disorder or pesticide poisoning. No honeycombs. A big fat pfffffft.
How are you feeling now? At this very moment, I have no doubt you’ve been overcome by acute disappointment. Sorry about that!
I, on the other hand, had little opportunity to mourn because an alternative crisis came along almost at once. I thought I was on the grim slide into major-major health troubles. Spoiler alert next line!
I wasn’t. 🙂 If you want to read more and what I learned about my writing during that time, you’re welcome to click through to Writer Unboxed for Wanted: Grim Reaper as Writing Coach. (Details on my health condition in my reply to Donald Maass’ comment below the main column.)
Tell me, Zesties, do you have any bee events to relay, or non-events as the case may be? What was notable about your summer?