Monday, May 21, 2007

Attack of the...well, honey bees...


The other day, Heather noticed a large number of bees hanging around outside our kitchen balcony. While observing, we noticed what looked like a swarm high on the branch of the pine tree in the back yard of our building. Our downstairs neighbor, Betty, had me come into her yard and she pointed out a second hive that had formed in the corner of a window of the topmost apartment. The lady that lived there passed away a couple of weeks ago. At first I thought she was concerned for her safety or the well-being of her fellow tenants, but it became clear she was every bit as concerned for the well-being of the bees. While my first thought would have been to use some major-duty insecticide, hers was that the bees wouldn't be hurt. Betty had called the fire department and they had given her the name of a bee specialist and since she was going to be away all day, she asked me to call. I tried and finally got through to find out the specialist needed to be reached on his cell phone, which he never answers.

So...the next day, I arrived home in the afternoon to find a firetruck parked across the street from our building. Four firefighters were standing around the buzzers to our building, trying to figure out how to get in. I led them to a point where they could see the bees in the upstairs window. They started calculating and figured they couldn't reach the 80-100 feet without finding a higher starting point. They all climbed back in their truck, drove down the hill to find a place to turn around and then came back up and behind our building but couldn't find a closer access point. They blocked traffic again while they turned around and came back to where they started.

As they were still formulating a plan, the bee specialista arrived and got suited up. He found a way to get into the upstairs apartment and a little while later, the bees were gone, safe and sound. It was yet again, a funny example of how the idea of efficiency in Italy, is very, VERY different.

4 comments:

Josh Furnal said...

that's great. thanks for the photos. another illustration how PETA-esqe italians are and how a normal person's first assumption would be grossly incorrect, even politically incorrect!

Roxanne said...

When I read this article, which I will dub, "Taking care of Bees-ness," several things came to mind. A month or two ago, our Hot Spot cook was relating to me a news report he had heard on the way to work. It seems that cell phones are interfering with the homing devices of bees. Therefore, not all worker bees are making it back to the hive. This is having an adverse effect on flower pollination in Europe, and, should the present trend continue, in 15 years there may be a world food shortage. So...taking care of bees might not be a bad idea.

The following morning, for some reason, a spin-off of a song I sang once for church came to mind:

I "bee"-lieve, though I don't really understand, I "bee-lieve" when I don't see your guiding hand, I "bee"-lieve, in spite of all I'm going through...I "bee"lieve in you.

Roxanne said...

"To bee, or not to bee," that is the question.

Roxanne said...

"To bee, or not to bee," that is the question.