Tree guys

In preparation for hurricane season and winter, the electric company has hired a tree service to cut back branches from the top two wires on utility poles around town. A two-man crew was here the other day on a side street that runs parallel to our backyard. I was home, so hearing the hubbub, I went out to chat them up, offer iced water, and make sure they didn’t mangle the crown of our beloved Japanese umbrella pine. Turns out they did a very nice job, prudently selecting branches and cleaning up afterward. The fellow in the basket of the cherry-picker got a wake-up call from a nest of yellowjackets atop our crab apple tree. Impossible to see from the road, and he didn’t spot it up high until a squadron of bees emerged. He made it down with only one sting.

Out came the spray. One of our neighbors is deathly allergic to bee stings, so I was glad to see the nest’s demise.

It took two spray attacks over consecutive days to knock out the nest of yellowjackets.

Turns out yellowjackets aren’t bees but wasps. In the neighborhood where I grew up, kids called them yellowjacks. I didn’t experience much bee drama as a kid. The only encounter worth noting was the discovery of a giant hornet nest–about the size of a basketball–on the back of the house across the street from us. Word spread fast. All the kids gathered, and the means of destruction was settled on rather quickly: water balloons. A dozen overfilled, unstable water balloons were volleyed at once. The nest exploded in a sodden mass, and a veritable cloud of hornets flew out. Everybody got stung as we ran away and scattered, waving our arms and screaming like maniacs.


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