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.