Bob and I were excited. Company was coming. Debbie and Tim were coming from southern Wisconsin to visit us on their way to Door County. We hadn't seen them in three years, so this was going to be a special visit.
At first they invited us to go out to lunch, but I had just made a big pot of chili and thought it we would be more fun visiting as we sat around our kitchen table. And that's just what we did.
While we ate Debbie, Tim, Bob, and I caught up. We talked about farming and how the crops were doing and what our families up to.
While we were chatting, a little visitor buzzed around the kitchen. Bob was fast with the swatter and killed the bee and we continued talking.
It wasn't long before another bee came racing toward the kitchen window, interrupting us again. I think I ducked when it skimmed over my head on its way to bang against the glass. With one swat, Bob killed it, too.
That's what happened the whole time we were visiting. We'd think we killed all the bees in the house and then another one would show up, and then another, or maybe even two. It was really embarrassing.
Where had all those bees come from?
We hadn't had any invaders like this all summer long. We looked for holes around the kitchen window, figuring that's how they were getting in, but we didn't find any hole.
After Debbie and Tim left for their vacation in Door County, Bob and I searched everywhere to find where the bees were coming from.
Finally, we followed a bee to the back door where it was trying to get out that window. Another bee showed up, and then a third.
By now we were checking out the whole area. Then high overhead, above a shelf above the steps, I saw a teeny, tiny hole and a bee coming in through it.
With their entrance detected, we went outside and looked up. We saw bees swarming by the eaves.
Okay, we had a predicament. The hole was in an almost unreachable spot and every minute we looked at it another bee seemed to find its way into our house. Instead of doing anything right then, we closed the door and sat down to think through our solution.
Eventually, Bob went to the barn and brought back a ladder so he could get a better look.
You should have seen him struggling to get that ladder in the door while bees continue to buzz around. With the ladder inside, Bob waited until dark and the bees had settled down before he climbed a ladder.
There it was, the hole, but even if Bob could have stretched far enough to reach the hole, and even if his shoulder wasn't hurting from hoeing weeds, he didn't want to stretch that far from the top of the ladder. That would be too tricky.
My husband figured he could set up some kind of gadget that would reach the hole without leaving him expose to being stung.
I suggested we spray the area first. Bob agreed. So that's what we did. Again we waited for night to spray.
Of course, with the spray all over Bob couldn't just go up there and close up the hole like he had planned. The spray said to wait four hours before breathing in that room. So early the next morning Bob got up climbed the ladder.
I should have been a good wife and stood below and maybe held the ladder for him. Instead, I watched from the window. That way if the bees had survived the spray and came after him and he fell off the ladder I could call 911 for help - I'm a good wife.
Luckily, Bob's reaching gadget worked perfectly. He was able get caulk into the whole and close up the bees door into our house. He didn't even come close to falling off the ladder, which was a good thing.
Now the bees are not coming in the house, except through the door when we walk in. Those bees are still leaving in the eaves and with this hot weather are swarming all around the house.
No one wants to go up on a ladder to do anything with the eaves right now. We'll wait for cold weather for that chore and then we'll be rid of them for good.
I really don't mind bees living nearby, it's just when they try to come into the house that they really bug me.
Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165; Sunnybook@aol.com; www.susanmanzke.net; http://www.facebook.com/susan.manzke.