Moving and Bees on the Balcony

It’s been a while since my last post, but there’s a really good reason behind my absence: hubby and I have just moved across the state.

Earlier this year, hubby submitted for a company transfer. He got it – but not quite the timeline he expected. The interviewers dragged out the inquisition process for about a month while being very noncommittal. Then on March 4, they contacted him saying they wanted him to start April 1. Take it or leave it.

So it’s been a whirlwind uprooting from LA County and plunking down in the Silicon Valley. I don’t know about you, but I hate moving. Not just the packing/unpacking, but having to notify everyone and every agency of the new address (the US Post Office now charges one dollar to forward mail–what’s up with that?!) and rebuilding a resource network (going to have to look for a new doctor again). Fortunately, leaving Los Angeles went much smoother than I dreamed because of kind and generous friends willing to lend muscle, Wi-Fi, a place to crash, and moving boxes, Many thanks to the Rydins, Trapps, Kevin, Linda, Boyts, Kristi, and Ransoms!

Getting into our new place was a whole other story though.

I’d assumed that the housing market in the Silicon Valley was similar to Los Angeles when I began looking for a place to rent. Boy, was I wrong. The economy might be stagnating in other parts of California, but it’s revving along in the Silicon Valley, and the rents reflect it. So it was a bit of a mad scramble to find a place before hubby’s starting work date.

Well, we finally found a condo to rent a week before hubby had to move. But in our rush, we overlooked several problems that quickly reared their heads within the first weeks of our arrival. I won’t bore you with them all, but I’ll share the craziest of them.

Shortly before move-in, our landlord (who actually is very responsive and conscientious) mentioned that there had been a bee problem on the balcony. However, she told us that the HOA had already taken care of it. So we checked the balcony when we moved in, saw no bees, and thought no more of it.

Then a few days later, I found THIS on the balcony:

close up bees

super close up bees - Copy

The pictures aren’t the greatest (I didn’t dare try for a closer close-up), but that darker brown on the light beige isn’t paint or moss. Those are BEES. And actually, this isn’t the best angle. Hundreds of them were crawling on the other side of the balcony wall.

I freaked out. Unfortunately, the HOA didn’t sense the same level of urgency I did and dragged its heels addressing the matter, which made it worse. In the midst of running around trying to get someone to evict the bees, I pieced together a few things about my new home:

  • Our unit had been uninhabited for several years. (Our landlord had bought it earlier this year in a short sale as a rental investment).
  •  The bees had been a known problem for several years.
  •  Despite numerous past complaints from neighbors, the HOA didn’t do anything about the bees.

So these bees had been living in the balcony wall for several years (knowing that there’s only a single layer of plywood between you and an established beehive will definitely keep you up at night). And whatever it was they used to drive off the bees prior to our move-in was just a temporary irritant, because they came back en force. Seriously, that swarm covered the entire balcony.

After a ridiculous number of phone calls from me and my landlord, an HOA-approved bee guy came three days later to remove the swarm and hive, both of which were huge. The amount of wax and honeycomb he took out of the wall filled a 5 gallon bucket (ick). As for the bees, he captured them using a shop vac (DO NOT try this at home). So they got vacuumed up and thrown into his SUV to be taken to a ranch in Morgan Hill.

Unfortunately, swarm was big enough that there were still dozens of strays that kept lingering around the balcony (which required another round of complaints to the HOA to evict). But now they’re finally gone. Meaning I can get back to focusing on more enjoyable things.

 Like writing.

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2 responses to “Moving and Bees on the Balcony

  1. The bees part sucks really bad… I’m glad they’re finally gone! I’d be with you, freaked out majorly.

    ~*~ Rad

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