Two weeks later, they were back… And apparently, they brought all of their relatives with them…
I felt defeated. Why was this happening to me? What was I going to do this time?
It just so happens that my assistant and her husband keep bees for a hobby. Before telling me that the beekeeping club in the city removes bees for free, she told me that she had been praying for more bees… I told her she needed to be a bit more detailed in her prayers because the bees had showed up at my house! But hearing that the club removes bees for free was music to my ears. FREE!!! There was hope! The bees had a savior after all.
After describing where the bees were and everything that happened thus far, the representative of the club asked me to text him a picture of one. He wanted to make sure they were bees. Like I don’t know what a bee looks like? After retrieving a dead one from the basement and sending a picture of it on a white paper background, he told me I needed to take the picture in better light. Really??? This was starting to sound like a weird version of CSI.
So outside I trotted with my dead bee and white piece of paper into the sunlight. You want better light? I’ll give you better light. Ever take a picture of a dead bee on a white piece of paper on your deck with your dog and cats wondering what you’re taking a picture of? After a few retakes to get one without a dog’s nose or a cat’s paw in the picture, I sent it.
“Yes, they’re bees,” he said. Halleluiah! Confirmation that at the age of 56, I knew the difference between a bee and a wasp.
He said they would not come out to save the bees. He declared they were not “savable”, and that any beekeeper would give his blessing to destroy them. He suggested calling a chimney sweep, then added one more thing… He determined from what I described, there were twenty to thirty thousand bees in the chimney. The bees had declared my home as headquarters for the region.
I called a chimney sweep. But just as I thought, he wouldn’t come to clean the chimney unless it was free of bees – beeless.
Now what? He suggested calling an exterminator, but also claimed that if they were inside the clay liner of the chimney, they were probably harmless and wouldn’t do any damage. Easy for him to say! He wasn’t the one with thousands of bees serenading him.
I called an exterminator. He said that I could put a few puffs of a certain chemical down the chimney and that should take care of it.
Once again, I stood before the chimney and declared my authority and demanded that the bees leave. I could of swore I could hear them laughing. Now that they were back, my faith was even smaller than a mustard seed. But I declared anyway…
That night, donned with a dust mask, safety goggles, and gloves, and looking like a homeless astronaut, I went up onto the roof, chemical in hand.
Rod and Lindsey, my son-in-law and daughter, came to help. Rod could not stand watching me do this alone, so he followed me up the ladder. (I had become rather insistent on learning to do everything myself.)
Assuming that the bees were undaunted by my declarations, I looked into the chimney, expecting to see thousands of bees crawling over each other.
I could not believe my eyes. “There’s NOTHING here!!!” I gasped.
I knew Rod probably figured I couldn’t see straight with my safety goggles on. I could see the surprised look on his face as he looked in, then shook his head. There was absolutely NO evidence of thirty thousand bees ever being there…
I went into the house to listen to the chimney. It was silent. How could this bee?
Why did all of this happen? I don’t know. I have since learned that if beekeepers don’t take care of their hives, bees will swarm, taking the queen in tow and a portion of them will leave to find a new home… which means a local beekeeper is not taking proper care of his bees. No doubt, a pastor could do a whole sermon with that as an analogy!
But more than that, I know that God is teaching me more about trusting in Him. My faith continues to grow, and I continue to marvel at nature and the lessons He wants to teach us through it…