I came back to Ann Arbor this weekend to find my room infested with yellow jackets. But the good thing is, I managed not to get stung! I killed eight of them Friday night and Saturday morning and observed a flock of many more hovering outside the window. Then I went off to Kroger to pick up some bee killing spray and something to put in whatever hole I might find. When I got home, there was yet another bee hanging out on my window — so I killed it too. (Current dead bee count: 9)
Then, knowing there was a big bunch of them flying around outside the window, I went up to the fire escape where I found a hole and at this hole were about 50 or more bees. So, I aimed my bee spray (with a 27 foot range, says the bottle) and fired at them from the other side of the fire escape and they started dropping like… well, flies is the idiom but dead yellow jackets is more correct. Furthermore, any bee who flew over and tried to enter the hole seemed stopped by an invisible force field of poison and every so often a drunken looking bee would climb out of the hole and drop to the ground. (Current dead bee count: 9 + many)
Or so I thought.
Upon returning to my room (after a treacherous fall down the fire escape stairs — watch out, it’s slippery when wet!), I observed *at least* 7 bees on the window or flying around inside. Clearly I hit their hive, freaked them out and they escaped inwards.
I called the landlord, got our less than useful house manager to come over and do nothing but confirm that there were many more than 7 bees in the room while I went to see Wall-E. (Good movie, by the way.) After the movie, I stopped and got some fly paper and a “Yellow Jacket and Wasp Trap” (says the box). As I was setting them up in my room, I noticed that the bees were flying into the light fixture and frying to death. After plugging up the hole on the outside of the house, my housemate and I determined that the best thing to do was leave the light on and sleep downstairs.
This morning, I found upwards of 40 yellow jacket carcasses in the light fixture — and at least 15 dead bees on the floor while I cleaned my room. And yet, every so often a new one would appear seemingly out of nowhere and occasionally there would be a buzz coming from inside the wall. Eventually, I saw one fly out of the bottom of the window sill, where I found a hole. After plugging it up with aluminum foil (I don’t have anything better at this moment), I could hear a few bees poking at the foil from inside the window frame.
I’ve tasked a housemate to spray the nest again and flip on the lights for a few hours tonight after I head back up north. With any luck, that will take care of them.
Total estimated dead bee count: 100s.


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