Inside my wall was a mix of honeycomb type sections like this as well as a different type of nest wrapped around an old pulley weight. Gross and fascinating all at the same time. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Inside my wall was a mix of honeycomb type sections like this as well as a different type of nest wrapped around an old pulley weight. Gross and fascinating all at the same time. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Column: You’ve gotta bee kidding me!

Why do bees haunt me?

I got stung by yellow jackets the other day. Three times for certain. But given those beggers can get you more than once, I think it was more like six. I say that because when it got to the itchy stage and I couldn’t stop scratching at them, there were three holes in my thigh, two in my toe and one on my cheek.

To maintain the privacy of the people I was with, I won’t tell you the circumstances by which we managed to disturb the nest. Not everybody likes to be the subject of my weekly columns for some odd reason.

I will say, though, that I ended up at Cowichan District Hospital for a few hours on a busy Friday night and was treated very well. It seems if you go in with what appears to be an allergic reaction they get to you in a hurry. I appreciated that at the time because I wasn’t feeling all that stellar.

Since then I’ve been seeing those yellow and black monsters everywhere.

It reminds me of the first summer I lived in my former house, and a memory that Facebook reminded me of earlier this month. Back in 2010, I rented a family member’s very old, but beautiful, would-be retirement home. He wasn’t ready to retire just yet and I needed a place to live. It was a win-win. He could have a reliable tenant and I had a place close to work that didn’t cost me an arm and a leg.

I don’t know how old the house is but I do know it was old enough to have knob and tube wiring at one point and also have a pulley system for the original windows.

I had just moved in and every time the wind blew I caught a whiff of an unpleasant odour. The stronger the wind blew, the worse the scent was.

My husband and I were not together at the time, but he had been coming over pretty regularly for dinner. One blustery day he was over for dinner and I smelled the smell. He did too. It validated my suspicions! I wasn’t crazy after all. It actually was a thing.

I implored him to open up the chimney plug and assumed some dead, rotting rodent would fall out.

Trying to impress me, he did. It was all clear.

Like a sniffer dog, I nosed my way around the living room until I came to the trim around the front window. Enough was enough, I was ripping that trim down and tearing apart the wall. And so I did. In behind was the cavity that used to hold the aforementioned pulley system. It hadn’t been filled in. I cut away a little bit of drywall and to my horror, a huge wasp condo or whatever you want to call it and four INCHES of dead bees/wasps/hornets or whatever they were before they began decomposing were revealed. Gross.

While I gagged and wretched from behind a closed glass door, diligently my not-even-boyfriend set to work removing it.

Where’s the bright side, you wonder? So far this has not been the happiest of stories.

Well, I didn’t have to cook that night. We went out for dinner to avoid the smell of the bleach I made him clean the inside of my wall with. We went to Just Jakes. He had the pizza.

And that was the day I knew I’d marry him. Two and a half years later, to the day, I did.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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sarah.simpson @cowichanvalleycitizen.com