Sunday, June 26, 2016

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy

At war with the honeybees

by Julie Carter

It’s the season for fighting honeybees. Not something that would immediately come to mind when you think about cowboys, but then, there is a long list of things that cowboys do just because it needs doing. Doesn't mean they are good at it, or that they ought to, but they just do.

It takes a lot to back down a cowboy because his very nature is to fight things until the bitter end. Wisdom is rarely involved. So, when a cowboy finally throws up his hands and says, "Call for help," you know he's reached the end of it.

This cowboy had been fighting uninvited honeybees for most of the spring. He managed to convince them to relocate a number of times. The last had been from the front porch where he used a guaranteed bee-removal spray that had a range of 27 feet. If you hit them square in the eye, they would get only mildly ill on their way to find a new nest. Decimation was minimal.

After feeling somewhat confident that visitors were now safe at the front door, the cowboy realized his opponents had taken up residence in the horse pasture. Using height as a human deterrent, they were busy buzzing in a huge oak tree, about 25 feet from the ground.

Not wanting to be on a ladder with hundreds of angry, buzzing, stinging bees on attack, the cowboy wisely called in a professional. Everyone, in theory, finds his or her specialty in life and in the geographical area of this bee infestation, there is a man known as the "Bee Guy."

When telephoned, he promised to come that very morning and ended the conversation by sharing some of his bee knowledge. "The bees are just like the English. Kill the queen and the whole colony will fold up."

He promised his mission would be the assassination of the queen.

The bee guy arrived and offered his business card that read, "Beez-R-Us, If you've got'em, we'll come swat'em." He said his fee would be $150 but he guaranteed his work.

The bee guy donned a rather spectacular suit similar to those used for moon walks, along with a fetching hat reminiscent of a cross between "Dr. Livingston, I presume" head covering and a diving helmet.

The cowboy felt this was one project he did not particularly need to supervise personally, which in itself, was a rare occurrence. The only other time in recent memory was when the rattlesnake hunters arrived at the New Mexico ranch.

The goofy snake hunter insisted on showing the cowboy his biggest catch of the day. He scooped him out of the snake box and laid him on the ground at the cowboy's feet. Didn't take the cowboy long to look at him.

Meanwhile back at the beehive, it was only a day after the bee guy's attack on the oak tree bees that the lady of house was startled to find bees swarming in her master bath. The queen-less colony of bees apparently had a Lady Camilla bee-in-waiting for a leader.

They had migrated to the eaves over the bathroom window, set up housekeeping and were coming through the attic, down the light fixture and into the bathroom. The little lady's effort to discourage them from joining her bath was to fog them with an entire can of spray aimed at their general vicinity.
The bee guy was promptly requested to return, based on the guarantee of his work. When the cowboy called, he explained that the bees had migrated back to the house.

With a wily tone to his voice, the bee guy asked the cowboy how was it he recognized them to be the same bees? Warranty coverage may prove difficult with that looming question.

Stay tuned. Bee season is just now in full swing.

Julie can be reached for comment at

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