I have a small balcony. Well, actually, I have three tiny balconies. There’s not a ton you can do with them. There’s a small table, two chairs and a plantation growing on them.
To me, plants are like added decor–they add color and warmth inside and out. And in many cases, they also provide handy kitchen necessities, like basil, chives, mint, etc. In fact, I think my little garden ups the real estate value of the apartments facing mine; maybe the whole street. I’ve been to the apartment across the street and my balcony is a joy to behold. It’s tres freaking charmant, I tell ya! It’s like the hanging gardens of Babylon on Rue Vauban. My own private Idaho.
It’s spring and everything is blooming. Including this yellow flowering plant that smells pretty nice. This is the time of year I love my tiny balconies. It’s not too hot to sit and have a cup of coffee out there in the morning, smell the flowers and look across the port at the still snow-capped alps.
But today, as I sit out here with my coffee, I hear buzzing. I don’t think much about it, until I notice an inordinate number of bees out here. Usually, there’s one or two. This morning there’s more like six. Or 10. Or a hundred. I scurry back inside and make sure all the doors are shut and locked before I investigate.
There’s a freaking cloud of bees circling my balcony that houses the nice-smelling yellow plant. The yellow flowers are dripping with bees suckling on it. Meanwhile, the air is thick with bees circling the plant and balcony waiting their turn. It reminds me of the sky above Kennedy Airport on a busy day. Or The Birds, if the birds were bees.
I’ve never seen so many bees in one place. I don’t know what the hell is going on. It can’t be the yellow flowering plant, it’s been blooming for a few weeks now. Why are they suddenly attracted to it now? Is this the only plant bees like in France? Maybe they’ve conducted a pilgrimage here and have just arrived. It’s like the hajj for bees and this one yellow plant is the bee equivalent of the black box. Or maybe they bees are after me. I have been eating a lot of honey lately. Maybe they’re pissed.
What I do know is I can’t live with a gazillion bees circling my sanctuary. Hell, what if they build a nest? What if they have already? Do they have bee exterminators?
But wait, I don’t want to kill them. As my mother constantly reminds me, “Bees are good. And they’re disappearing” (I beg to differ). “The vanishing bee population is a sign of the end of the world. Or the decline of civilization as we know it. Or something really, really bad.”
Don’t worry, mom, I won’t kill them. I just want them to go worship some other plant. Preferably one in Italy. Oh my God, they’re practically covering the glass on the door. KILL THEM!
I Google bee repellant and discover that orange essence keeps them away. But even if I had orange essence, I’d be afraid to go out there and spray it. What am I gonna do?
I weigh my options. Find a new apartment? Marry a bee shoe-er? Get rid of the pretty yellow flowering plant? Never go out on the balcony (or open the doors) again? Start making honey?
I close the curtains, because if I don’t see them they don’t exist. But as I try to distract myself by writing something deep, meaningful and/or arty, a heavy feeling of doom settles over me. I try to shake it off, but it keeps sneaking back in there. It’s the bees. They’re going to ruin everything!
I go over to check if they’re still out there and I don’t even have to open the curtain. I can hear them buzzing. Now I’m cowering and whining pathetically to the heavens ‘Why me? Why me? Why me?’ Worse, now I’m full of self-loathing because I just un-ironically sounded just like Nancy Kerrigan.
I need to do something that will totally get my mind of this whole bee situation. Just forget about it. Maybe it’s just some passing seasonal thing and will pass as quickly as it arrived.
So I go shopping for a few spring fashion necessities and buy a whole new outfit.
I feel better already.