Sunday, July 18, 2010

The bee man cometh.

Two months ago 'the font' noticed that a large swarm of bees were nesting in the rickety old farmhouses guttering - right outside the bedroom window. Bees are good for the environment so we didn't want to harm them in any way. Over the last eight weeks a stream of specialists have been clambering up ladders scratching their heads and reporting that 'the only way to get rid of them is to gas them' . Finally, after umpteen environmentally unfriendly false starts the mayor introduced us to a gentleman who was willing to climb onto the roof and remove the Queen Bee and her apiarian host to pastures new.

At eight thirty on Sunday morning he arrived ; unannounced. He handed over two cards . One said ' Bees a speciality ' the other ' Odd jobs done - nothing too small '. He proudly informed us that he was 74, had been a parachutist and that his hip replacement didn't hinder his work in any way . " Parachutists don't have a fear of heights" he said while donning a large white protective outfit that covered him from head to toe . After that communication became rather difficult but a combination of roof to ground sign language and a creative interpretation of the grunts that emerged from the white spacesuit soon told us that the offending bees had been located. Twenty minutes later it was all done. The Queen, her royal jelly, and her slavish minions had been smoked out and safely stowed in a cardboard box . They would soon be embarking on a carefree new life in a hive twenty kilometres away.

It was then that events took an interesting turn. As he was putting back the roof tiles, three of them slid out of his hands and tumbled to the ground with a loud crash. In turning round to see what had happened he stepped backwards and put a white boot through the bedroom ceiling, simultaneously snagging his other leg on the guttering. 'The font' who was still bustling around repairing the damage caused by the pigeon in the guest bedroom helpfully rushed downstairs to tell me that the bed was covered in plaster and that there was a leg sticking through the roof.

Going to sleep last night I could see the stars through the void in the ceiling created by the boot shaped hole and the missing roof tiles. Wilf thought it was all great fun. 'The font' less so. The bee mans odd job skills won't be called upon. If ever we move again it's going to be to a low maintenance new build.


  1. He could have fallen all the way through.

    We used a vacuum cleaner once to collect a swarm that decided to reside in a window sill in the house. Worked a treat.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

  2. well at least he didn't fall through onto the bed, onto the font!
    yes, i suppose new does sound nice...but what a beautiful place, making lot's of memories!
    have a great week...hugs to Wilf

  3. Oh dear, it's hard not to laugh. :)

  4. Why do I feel that somehow, this could only have happened to you, M'Ongoose? At least all the workers in France Profunde are being put to work by you!

  5. Oh my; one step forward and two steps back. You have to admit Angus - it's unlikely you'll ever suffer from ennui while residing in that little village in France. So glad the bees are gone and deepest sympathy for the abrupt arrival of your "organic" ventilation. Let's hope they'll be no sudden summertime downpours.

    Yankee Gal

  6. Oh dear, I can just picture the scene in the bedroom. My Dad's childhood home was a 500 year old farm house in Sussex. Based on his experience of all the problems that brought, he vowed that he himself would never own any structure built before the 20th century. One begins to see his point....
    Cheers, Gail.

  7. Tiles on ground. Foot through ceiling. What about the cardboard box with the bees?????

    How I love the concept of peaceful France profonde as experienced by you, the font, and Wilf.

    xx Joan

  8. Why do these things happen just as one is preparing for guests??

  9. My husband visited his 94 year old uncle one hot summer afternoon, only to find the old fellow up high on his roof, replacing a shingle. "Now Uncle Robert, come down", he cried. "I'll come up and do that. You have no business up there!" The old man, rather reluctantly, came down. At which point my husband climbed up and promptly stuck his foot through the roof.

    My sympathies are with the bee man.

  10. Ahhhhh....the answer is in the cards! The second card to be exact. Odd jobs...if you need to work...make some work!


  11. Good thing it's not raining! :)

    The sunflowers (and Wilf, of course) are wonderful!

  12. "Trying hard not to laugh?" I busted a gut! Your whole story sounds like a cartoon but is REAL. Oh, my. The second photo of Wilf and his do is precious. I can only laugh because you all are safe and half a world away - and it IS funny :).

  13. Oh my, I'm chuckling and chuckling. Sorry - I can't help it. I hope, for your sake, that it doesn't rain before the roof is fixed!

    I applaud your insistence on an environmentally friendly way to take care of the bees. We need them in our world, as you obviously know.

  14. Welcome to my world! You take one step forward only to have to take two steps back!

    I hope it doesn't rain before you're able to get that roof fixed.

  15. I really did not see that coming. I was expecting a great story about saving the bees, learning from an older gentleman's wisdom, or another great life lesson. Thus, the calamity continued to this side of the pond when I nearly choked on my wine as I read the ending.

    Thanks for the laugh.

  16. How is it that life in a quiet French village can be so full of funny experiences? This reminds me of the television show, "Green Acres."


  17. Time to rewatch that classic Cary Grant film "Mister Blanding Builds His Dream House."