My mother-in-law saw this story in the paper today! As we sit inside watching tropical storm Henri come blowing through, it's nice to know that my son's reputation and our company is getting good reviews out there. The funny thing about reading this is the fact that I had those same thoughts cross my mind when I was recently watching a video of a nest being removed. It made me feel sad. But safety first, right?
Sadness removing hornets nest
“You have a big hornets nest on that low branch of your maple tree hanging over the driveway,” my daughter Peg reported one day last week when she came to visit. She took a picture of it with her iPhone to show me and, sure enough, the nest was almost as big as a basketball. And it had been built when nobody was aware of it. Round, light grey and papery, it was a classic example of a perfect nest of its kind, and I wished that it was in a safer place so we didn’t have to deal with it.
When my sons found out about it, they said I should have someone come and remove it because hornets are vicious and unpredictable in their instinct to protect their nest. I knew I would have to get it taken care of but that nest was really an amazing creation, a true work of art built by a colony of fierce insects wanting only a safe place to bring up their young. I shouldn’t personify a nest of hornets but when you think of a queen bee setting up housekeeping with her horde of females collecting insects, caterpillars and nectar for the drones to help feed her young, it seems almost cruel to destroy the nest. If it were higher up in the tree, it might not have presented such a problem. But any truck or van coming into the driveway would probably brush against that nest and disturb the inhabitants so an unsuspecting visitor coming along next could be badly stung. Already they were buzzing just over our heads when we went out to get the mail from our mailbox.
The only thing left to do was to get someone to take down the nest.
My fearless neighbor Shelly across the street had dealt with a nest of her own when a colony of hornets built one on a branch over her pumpkin patch. She kept getting stung every time she went out to weed. She fiercely sprayed that nest, cut it down and destroyed it all by herself. She offered to come over and take down mine but I thought she was lucky that first time and I didn’t want her to risk being badly stung by my bees.
Once again I asked Wayne Daly who takes care of my lawn and shrubs to recommend someone and he said Family Pest Control of Wallingford could do the job.
Shortly after we called them, a young man named Caleb, whose grandfather had started the business which his father now runs, showed up to deal with the bees that he confirmed were bald faced (or white faced) hornets.
He donned a full bee suit, pulled down a stepladder from on top of his truck, sprayed the nest, clipped it off with loppers, and sprayed it again once it was down. He also sprayed the area where it had hung. He said any hornets flying outside the nest would return to the spot and if the nest was gone move on or ingest the spray and die.
Because I know that hornets and wasps are also pollinators, (though not as efficient as honeybees whose bodies are furrier and carry away more pollen) I felt guilty about having that nest destroyed. If it had been on a higher branch, I would have let it stay there. But low as it was, I couldn’t risk letting anyone inadvertently disturb it and get badly stung.
My neighbor Shelly, who had watched, with interest, the whole operation from her home across the street, had one thing to say about the whole process and that was “Maybe I should get a bee suit like that!”
By Phyllis Donovan (Record Journal)