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urgently needed...

Thursday, July 19, 2018
... beekeeper in costume! After an unexpected and unwelcome encounter with little yellow striped insects with stingers on their backsides, I thought having a beekeeping hat and veil would solve the problem. It was a productive day, with me loading the wheelbarrow a couple of times with fallen sticks and dragging larger limbs up to the street. Got hot and cranky, and came in to cool off, drink lots of water, sit quietly in the wonders of HVAC, joy of plentiful electricity. Then went back out to do a bit more before putting my barrow and gloves up for the day. That last effort was a doozie!

In the yard, under the trees, as I was loading the barrow for the last time, I literally 'stirred up a hornet's nest'. Or maybe the ill-mannered, boorish insects were wasps. Not sure what sort of short-fuse creature builds a nest underground, but they were out there under the leaf mulch. I swatted at something annoying on my ankle, and looked down at the same time, seeing a little bee-like insect. I do hope they are enough like bees that when the stinger goes in as a defense mechanism, they die when the tiny needle pulls out of their bodies. When I realized what had happened, that I had just been stung by a sneaky, angry wasp, I got hit again, on the other ankle.

You may have read of this military tactic: Discretion is the better part of valor? My adaptation would be that Retreat is the better part. I definitely beat it away from the scene as rapidly as possible. Got in the house and began to apply 'no-itch' lotion to my ankles, realizing I was finished with out door work for the day.  But my wheelbarrow is still out in the middle of the trees, semi-loaded, where I dare not return. What to do?

I know people who have a history of beekeeping, so thought that a beekeeping hat and veil, with the rest of me fully covered by layers of clothing might be the solution. Some way to get back out there to rescue my abandoned wheelbarrow. I don't know precisely where the nest is, with the angry residents, so not sure how to avoid getting too close. I need to get my wheelbarrow, but also need to get rid of the unwelcome squatters.

The people with the beekeeper garb suggested going out at night to retrieve tools, but that does not entirely solve the problem. Those mean bugs are still there, prepared to attack anyone who comes along to disturb the peace. How to find out where they are to prevent future attacks? Any ideas? I actually covered myself in long pants, long sleeves, high socks and tiptoed out to retrieve tools before it was fully daylight. Moved the wheelbarrow so I can empty the sticks and use it as needed. And thankfully did not get attacked again. Even so, this still leaves mean-spirited insects to deal with. Feeling like a captive in my own space, unable to walk around or work in the yard, fearful of sneak attacks by those hostile bugs.

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