Thursday, May 8, 2008

Our outdoor visitor.

This is a rather odd tale about a bee. I believe it's a Carpenter bee & we discovered the other day that that species is very non-agressive & I don't think it'll sting unless it's going to die (unless it can't sting). The tale begins last year...

I would go out on our deck to smoke. I also barbecue out there (go figure, can't do that in the house). This HUGE bee starts flying around out there. HUGE! Of course I freak's HUGE! And it's buzz is rather loud, so that creeps me out even further. So, if I see it I come inside. That doesn't work all that well because the damn thing won't leave the deck! It just hangs hovers, like a helicopter or rather a hummingbird. So, one day I am at the sink doing my dishes with the window open and there it is, I swear, watching me... investigating me, inspecting me. It's hovering in front of the window. Not super close to the house, mind you, it's at least 2 feet away from the window. Like it knows there are boundries (crazy, I know!). So I move out of view & I hear it move away. I go back in front of the window & here it comes again! I shit you not. It was a weird few weeks. I just started smoking on the front porch & when I cooked outside, I did it later. The bee seemed to like the heat of the midday sun.

The bee is back. I was out there yesterday, just minding my own biz, puffing on a mini-stogie (not really, but it sounds better than nic stick) and zzzzZZZZZZzzzzzZZZZZ. Eegads! Big sucker is back. Hovering as per his usual. The first thing I did was come inside & look up species of bees that are native to my area. Carpenter bee it is. It's the only thing it could be. It still has me weirded out, so the Dock man comes to my rescue. Brave as he is, he leaned out the storm door with the fly swatter (as if that would even make the thing's HUGE!) and kept swatting at it in the air. It wouldn't go. *sigh* After the Dock man heads to the dock, I decided to go out & smoke again. Mr. bee wasn't out there when I first got out there, but he joined me.

After reading up on them, I looked all around the deck for the nest. I didn't look on the underside yet, but what of the deck I did see I couldn't find any nest there. We do have a bunch of evergreens behind our house, so the nest could also be in one of those. Carpenter bees are solitary insects, they don't colonize the same way the others do. At any rate, Mr. bee has joined me for my smoke. I was trying not to fear it. I had my trusty fly swatter, but I realized if I didn't swing it, Mr. bee didn't freak & start diving around my head. I kind of got used to him hovering & watching me. It's like the bee is curious. So I show my kids through the storm door how cool this guy is. Andy is terrified of bees. He had fascination & fear. The other 2 were just fascinated. I go to thinking, if this guy was going to sting, he'd have done it by now. All of us ventured out on the deck. Andy got under a blanket...and sat on the deck between 2 chairs. Maia was just watching it hover around us. Mr. bee made his rounds, a few times. Got about 2 feet away from each of our faces (boundaries, I tell you) & hovered, seeming to check us out. He never got too close & he never bothered us. We would watch him chase other bugs away from the deck, but nothing more. It was an intriguing thing. We were out there for at least a half hour, 45 minutes.

Another weird thing about Mr. bee, my cat will chase & try to eat any bug he sees...any bug, even a wasp..ew & I try to discourage him from doing that to the wasps we see once in a while. Big ole Porkchop just watched Mr. bee. Laid down & watched him with the same seeming curiosity as Mr. bee had for us. Later last evening, my cat was even chasing (and trying to eat) a big flying beetle that came up on the deck...weirdo. He left the bee alone.

Here's some video of him I took with my camera. Sorry if it's wacky movement, I had to use the standard viewfinder to keep him in the frame because it was much harder to see him on the screen.

And photo:

1 comment:

Carrie said...

Good thing you took pictures, I thought it was one of those Boo Bees that I wrote about the other day.

You must have one kick ass camera to get a picture like that one.

Maybe it is a remote control camera being controlled by intelligent life on a parallel universe.

I know that Doo Bees are popular in Indianna, could it be one of those?


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