Friday, April 6, 2007

Death and Cooking

I just took a shower as Clara went to start cooking. Sure enough the first bee of the evening has appeared.

I will quickly sumarize the past two days. 11 kills the first night, 4 or 5 on night two, with no known source of entry. We went to town this morning to garner more information and found out a gringo was killed 6 days ago twenty miles south of here by killer bees.

I checked the web and confirmed what I knew and discovered more. They do attack the head in swarms, and when they sting the stinger comes out, killing the male bees and giving off a pheromone that smells like banana's that enrages and attracts the other bees to join the battle. They can stay antagonized for 24 hours and attack up to a quarter mile from home base. They are attracted to aromas such as fresh flowers and cut grass which explains why they come for our dinner.

We have discovered that they could care less about motorcycles parked in the driveway. However, if you want to wash that motorcycle they will join you in examining every nook and cranny, although they seem willing to share. As long as they get first dibs. So, you can clean the front wheel while they inspect the seat. But if they see you having too much fun, then they want to play with the front wheel and make you go to the back seat. And let me tell you when you are within plain view of over a 100 of his buddy bees just forty or fifty feet away, on a beeline, to use a figure of speech, there is no discussion or backtalk with them about who gets to play with which bits.

To sum up, they like light, they like the smell of food, they don't like gringo songs from the past 25 years, they drown themselves in pasta sauce, and they can appear out of nowhere.

As I just wrote that last paragraph, one just crawled up from the sink...could they be coming from the vent pipes??? This is getting scary, I've already introduced 3 of them tonight to the pleasures of Cristina magazine, but what could happen in our sleep....meanwhile, we still hear the pinging on the windows....and another just arrived....

We are all alone on the hillside, no lights, no sound, no food, no outside ventilation, we stay downstairs to be further from the multiple hives in the eaves....Clara thinks we maybe in a reality TV show, I hope we survive, "Killer Bee Killed!"

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Living (so far!) With killer bees

Tonight will be our third and final night with the killer bees, one way or another!

Using the scientific method we have been discovering more and more about the most aggressive insect in the world.

In my youth I saw a special on them and had some vague recollections of their habits. As we cooked pasta the first evening I was doing everything I could to jog my memory because they kept appearing in the kitchen seemingly out of thin air.

I seemed to remember that they swarm in huge numbers when attacked, and they had some sort of scent that when one dies others pick up the distress. I knew they could be deadly although it wasn't common.

I had points 1 and 3 in mind as we readied our meal. We had the lights on in the kitchen and the huge living room with the 25 foot wall of glass. The occasional African bee would ping off the glass. When the first bee showed up in La Cochina (kitchen) to check out the sauce I started wondering about point 2. We didn't do anything for awhile, and no others showed up. Clara was a bit disconcerted with the buzz around her head, so when he landed on the fridge he got swatted.

Shortly thereafter another one showed up. They seemed to be attracted to the lights, similar to a moth and would land on white surfaces such as the refridgerator and the tile backsplash. After these observations, I decided to turn the living room lights off which led to a great reduction in the pinging sounds.

I then swatted the remaining buzz bomb. Who was shortly replaced by another, who suffered a similar fate. Then another. Then another. We were starting to get worried about these Hydra-like winged warriors. We couldn't tell where they were coming from, especially with all the lights off, but they definitely were coming.

Thinking that vibration may annoy them (as we had been warned that they don't like motorcycles) I turned off the cd player with the eclectic collection of two cd's: the greatest hits of, respectively, Randy Newman and the Waitresses. I guess I could understand that music ad infinitum getting anyone or anything riled up!

That slowed them down, but they still kept coming, one by one, each meeting the same fate. We turned off the recessed lights in the kitchen as dinner was ready to be eaten, and I discovered the microwave light worked. There was soft lighting but the ambience was not romance but rather a multiple bee arrival away from hysterics.

Finally Clara saw a couple crawling in under the window which I swatted before they took flight, then I quickly stuffed full of paper towels which kept them at bay for the rest of dinner. I remember during dinner that they attack the head and face but I decided not to share that thought as it was inappropriate dinner conversation.

I'd like to stress at this point that I had killed all of them on the first swat with the rolled up Cristina magazine, the latin version of Oprah a Cuban woman with talk shows, mags, etc. But I digress. I didn't want to anger any of them before they met their Holy Week fate.

As we went to bed we made our defense plan in case of massive overwhelming force attack. We would barricade ourselves in the interior bathroom, putting a towel under the door as we filled up the tub with water. When the tub was at capacity we would jump in together and breath through straws until they lost interest with us. A great plan I thought although clara was a bit dubious. As we fell asleep I wondered if we had any straws....

(More later about our discovery with bees, but a hint is that they like Prego spaghetti sauce)
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