Monday 23 April 2018

Not in the Chimney

As we live in a back to back house (if you knocked down my bedroom wall you would also be knocking down their kitchen wall) I don't have a back door.  I have a top door, which leads into a porch and then to the living room, and a bottom door, which leads into the kitchen.  I took some rubbish from the kitchen to the outside bin and then noticed a small weed growing out of the drain pipe next to the door.  There's a sort of trough in front of the kitchen window and there's a hole with a pipe that basically dumps any rainwater onto the concrete in front of the kitchen door which can then go down the drain.  The hole at the top looks like this

And the hole at the side looks like this

I'm leaving the fern in for now, but didn't want a drain blocked so I pulled out the plant which was attached to what look like a wipe that had been stuffed down there.  It might have been there for some time, and I have no idea where it came from, however it is now in the bin.  I had a dig with a stick and pulled out a load of muck, and couldn't really get to stuff further back (you can see traces of the muck that I knocked off the stick).  So I had a prod down the other hole and wasn't really getting anywhere.  So I thought I would tip some water down the pipe and see if it would wash the dirt out.  I just emptied a couple of litres of plain tap water down the hole (you can see that some dirt splashed back).  Nothing came out of the lower pipe.  When I tipped the second jug down the hole something black seemed to rise to the surface and then I realised it was moving under its own steam.  Something insectoid, damp and covered in muck, was emerging from the pipe like an alien in a horror movie.  My skin crawled.  I did get a quick look, and as far as I can guess it was a queen bee, possibly a honeybee.  However I just walked straight into the kitchen and locked the door. 

If I am right, I'm stuck.  Honeybees are incredibly protected (and should be).  When they lived in our chimney, like sensible bees, we did ask around about them when the hive got too big and they were getting congested.  They can't be touched  We had them there for twenty years or so, on and off, and they were no bother, not even when we had the roof repaired.  I had a quick look later, when I took these pics, and there was no sign of her majesty, so she has hopefully dried off and gone to the already established nest forty foot above where I found her.  It's been empty for a year or two and I sort of miss the bees.  If she has crawled back down the hole (which has been prodded, jabbed and flooded so I'm hoping she's got a distaste for it now) I could end up with a bees' nest right next to my kitchen door! 

I'd better get clearing up the garden before it becomes to busy.  Unfortunately the fuschia has survived the winter and I don't think I'll be able to get it out at the moment so I'm just going to have to be harsh and cut it right back.  However right now I am off to study for the theory part of my driving test.


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