Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cowboys n Bees'

So there I was standing in next doors overgrown strip of land between his house and my garage, sorry, my sacred refuge and den of a thousand projects, looking up at the balls up my cowboy builder mate (that word between very gritted teeth at the time of writing) wondering what the bloody hell had possessed him. A quick picture in words is required at this junction I feel. My garage is in two halves, the original and the extension, with the extension being wider by about five inches. The whole ensemble had previously been sheltered (a loose use of the word as my garage at times contained a mini lagoon!) from the elements by a roof of two halves, one of felt and the extension of corrugated steel. My, to remain unnamed, cowboy builder mate (teeth still gritted) had been commissioned to reroof the lot, at the same time changing the fall from back to front too a fall from one side to tother. Yep he’d changed the fall, yep the garage no longer leaked and yep the roof is now of a uniform, clad steel, material. But the Roy Rogers of Buckley building had conspired to make a pair spherical shaped objects heading in an upwards direction of one item; the new roof over the wider part of my sacred hideaway was trimmed to the very walls edge leaving no bloody overhang for me to erect guttering beneath, bollocks!, and his answer when apprehended by posse Wooldridge? "Oh it’ll be alright till the winter I’ll sort something then", double bollocks!!!!!! So here I am looking at me poor 'temple to many projects shield from the elements' thinking ‘I’ll be needing the ladder then’. Have I ever mentioned before that I absolutely hate heights above two inches above terra firma, no? well I bleedin’ well do. With appropriately cut sheets of roof cladding to slide under the new panels I set forth on my quest for an overhanging roof (I’ll be hanging somebody else after this episode I can tell you!).
All was going reasonably well, I’d gained the heights of the roof, removing the necessary retaining coach bolts to enable me to raise the existing cladding, and had managed, now grounded once more and with a modicum of huffing and puffing, to slide under two of the required five extension pieces into position when this slight feeling that something was not quite right came over me. A glance down at my stubby little legs confirm my suspicion, for there, like several miniature bi-planes swarming around a greying (and now sweating) King Kong, was a host of perturbed bees. Yep yours truly had managed to discover some more deeply interesting ‘townlife’ by taking the dried grass top off a colony of hitherto unnoticed bees, doh.
Like a lemon I just stood there, legs akimbo, waiting for the inevitably searing pain from a host of distraught and to be honest rightfully pissed off little bees. Damn thing was it just didn’t happen, oh they swarmed above and around me, but they were far more interested in repairing their own, now less than pristine, roof. I was fascinated, so much so that all thoughts of the job in hand evaporated and my sole focus was on the nest I’d unwittingly disturbed. I crouched and watched the industrious little insects now having no fear of a deserved sting. The majority covered the now exposed hive cells whilst others laboured to pull grass to the nest to repair my damage.

 It became apparent that this was a hopeless task and that soon the nest would be discovered by either wasps or others and in its present state was indefensible for the bees (not that they seemed to be willing to defend themselves from this clumsy oaf!). A cursory glance located the domed grass roof of their hive, which I promptly plonked upon top of the nest.

 Amazingly within fifteen minutes the join had been repaired so that only by the closest inspection could the bees’ exit/entry to the hive be seen. I still have not fully identified the type of bee but after checking upon the nest the following day and being mesmerized for an hour by the bees’ comings and goings I’m happy that the nest is safe and functioning again.
Oh and the roof? finished and awaiting payday and the guttering that it will bring, no thanks to Roy Bleedin’ Rogers that is.

Your friend,



Damn The Broccoli said...

Oooh that sounds like an absolute nightmare!

Glad they are alright though, we need the bees.

I remember years ago, my dad getting several tonnes of what we shall call strong manure delivered to my grans house.

About 3 months later half of it was still left waiting to be dug into the vast gardens to improve it all and get the vege plot going.

I got the job which was all well and good till I stuck in the spade and pulled out half a wasps nest.

Those little buggers get antsy when you remodel their home I can tell you. Amazing just how fast you can run in steel toe cap boots with the right motivation.

Leigh said...

Wow, what luck!? I know it is absolutely infuriating when your help blotches things. My husband was a contractor for years and it never failed, with each house there was always one sub that would botch their work and then try to charge us for his time fixing his OWN mistake. ERR.
Heights I also can relate!
I cant wait to hear what you find out about your bees. They really are fascinating.

Le Loup said...

Roy Rogers gets around a bit, I think he had a hand in building our new house!!!

Coloradocasters said...

Very impressive. Most would have run for the bug spray. Your respect for nature and excellent writing inspires me more and more. I am honored to follow your blog.

Little Messy Missy said...

Hahahaha!! Very cool!!! If they are bee's maybe you will be lucky and get honey but the kinda look like wasps to me!

Karen Thomason/Gordon Setter Crossing said...

Good Karma....Good Vibe....good man. Way to go John.

Bob Mc said...

Around these parts, in our western mountains, we have a more than bothersome little pest that I fear far more than honey bees. Honey bees seldom sting except in defense of the hive, and bumble bees almost never. The critters I am speaking of are called yellow jackets, but a common name for them around camps is meat bees. They get this name because of their attraction to any kind of meat, fresh or cooked, and especially fish. Last week while I was sitting in camp, cooking and dinner over with, I was drinking a cup of milk. When I raised the cup for a sip I failed to noticed the bee doing the back stroke in my milk. Darn thing got me before I could spit it out. I had a fat lip for a few days.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...


Re the building works
'why is it there is never enough time or money to do it right, but there is always enough time to do it twice?"

Re The Bees

Sounds like you've got a really good hive location there, this could be the start of a beautiful symbiosis.


Shoreman said...

Morning John. Well, morning in California. Always a pleasure to read your posts over coffee. Don't feel so bad about your neighbor. In most places you can't get a builder to do a decent job. Unfortuately you don't know how really bad they are until they're done or not done, but think they are. At least the bees are happy again and are not the Africanized type. Keep up the good work.


Diane-Sage said...

An unbelievable find you have there. I love it when I stumbled upon things like that. I get so much joy from nature...more so from humans, I must say...Of course there are exceptions!
Thanks for sharing this LOVED IT

Murphyfish said...

Hi Damn,
My first thoughts upon hearing the buzzing around my legs were not of the printable kind but I guess that the bees’ realised that I came in peace, just a tad clumsily! Now wasps they can be a real nightmare, although in the spirit of my favourite film, Jaws, I can go one better: have I ever relayed the story of me in wellies going scrumping and being chased hell for leather by an angry orchard owner and an even angrier host of Hornets whose nest I’d knocked in my apple laden flight?

Hey Leigh,
Guess I should have paid more attention whilst the work was been carried out so the panels would have been right first time, then again I should have paid more attention to my clumsy feet when I was doing the rework ;-). Still got to look up what type they are, I’ll be sure to let you know (hopefully)

Hi Keith,
He certainly does don’t he, I guess that there’ll always be builders who need a rail for their horses.

Thank you for your extremely kind words, I’m just happy to give folks a little something to smile about upon occasion.

Little Messy Missy, (can I just call you Messy?)
Glad you liked it, don’t think that I’d like to disturb the nest for honey, they’ve had enough excitement me thinks. I’m definite about them being bees though, honest.

Hi Karen,
Thank you, glad you enjoyed the tale.

Hi Bob,
Wasps over here are the predatory type, but on other insects. I’ve never heard of yellow jackets before but something that is attracted to meat and stings is one to be avoided.

Building works; always seems the case doesn’t it, in future I’ll do the work myself, infinitely slower but it’ll only be done the once.
Bees; don’t think the bees see it that way, the least they see (or feel) of this clumsy oaf the better. If I had more space though a few hives would certainly appeal.

Evening Mark,
Thanks for dropping by, guess I should be happy that the work was easily enough corrected, albeit with some huffing and puffing on my part, garage and bees’ reroofed – result.

Hello Diane-Sage,
Nice to hear from you again, I’m pleased that you enjoyed the post and I too tend to find more joy in nature than in most humans, I guess with nature it’s just the honesty about her and with no strings you get from her what you put in.

To all,
Once again many thanks for taking the time to read and comment upon my rambling words.
Your friend,

Nebraska Hunting Company said...

I guess it's the same all around the world... Nice work witht he bees though!

Best to you,
Scott Croner™
Nebraska Hunting Company

CDGardens said...

That Roy Rogers character strikes an amusement chord - must be related to Hubby. We are in the process of applying a metal roof to our new house.As we proceed from one corner to the other he has decided to loosen the first three panels and reposition them. Glad it was now and not later.

Sorry to hear you had to do the replacement job all by yourself.

I like the way in which you wrangled the bees. We need to keep them healthy. ;)

The Suburban Bushwacker said...


In defence of Hubby:

"he has decided to loosen the first three panels and reposition them"

That's the difference between a craftsman and a cowboy - a craftsman fettles, a cowboy says 'that'll do'


Murphyfish said...

Thanks for dropping by, unfortunately 'old fashioned' values of doing the job right seem to be disappearing down the pan these days don't they, Bees' finished off their roof fine though.

CD & SBW (Mmmmm names in code seems to be a fashion lately)
Being just a man I have to go with SBW on this one, tis far better to fettle and get it right first time than drop a bollock and have to do it again (oops sorry about the Saxon, it's been a hard day)As for the bee's they still appear to be doing well even with amount of rain that we're getting lately (obviously not cowboy bees then!)

Wolfy said...

Great gesture of being nice to the bees - the karma factor will repay 10-fold! Most people - even those who appreciate the bees work - aren't so tolerant.

This could NEVER have happened to me, however, since A) hate heights as much as you do, and B) I am completely inept when tryingto fix anything. So - I've stopped trying.