Saturday, February 21, 2009


There are some stories that just beg to be told, and then there are some that lose something in the translation. I'm hoping that this one is in the first category.
The other evening, my kids and I were in the family truckster, heading off to the first of two basketball practices of the evening. We turned right at the end of our street, but a disturbingly close cloud of black smoke caught my eye in the rear view mirror, and I decided that we should backtrack to investigate where the smoke was coming know, the "if there's smoke there's fire" theory and all. Sure enough, as we crossed the major road separating us from the fire, we could see flames licking up over the 6 foot high wall in someone's backyard. Which was a stone's throw from two other backyards. I quickly dialed 911, and gave the emergency gal the crossroads where we sat. She asked if I had an exact address, which I did not, but said that I would drive around the corner to find. Which I did. Once in the front of the house with major heat issues, I parked and ran up to the front door, wanting to alert anyone inside of the fire in the backyard. On the front door hung the all-too-familiar lock box, prevalent around our neighborhoods, and characteristic of a bank-owned repo. house. My first thought was, "good, no one inside to get hurt". My second thought was, "oh crap, there's a fire in the abandoned house's backyard". Or maybe that was both my first and third thoughts, but I digress. I had turned toward the back fence to see if I could see what was going on, when I was met by a rather unfriendly gentleman walking out to greet (or not) me in the driveway. He asked what I was doing, and what I needed (HUH???). I asked what HE was doing, and was he aware that there was a fire burning quite out of control in the backyard. To which he replied yes, and that it was no biggie, he was just "burning some bees". Again, HUH??! I told him that I had called 911 when I saw flames over the back fence from about 1/4 of a mile away, and that the fire had already been reported when I called. He looked at me, rolled his eyes, and said he'd go ahead and stay and wait for the fire trucks to arrive.
Now, just to recap: 1. Fire in backyard of abandoned house. 2. Man who is not the owner burning bees in the backyard of aforementioned house. 3. No water available to put out the fire, as house has been abandoned. 4. Fire department on their way.
I'm thinking his decision to stay was a good one. Oh, and did I forget to mention the jug of curious-looking yellowish fluid that was sitting on the edge of the property by the back gate? Bee fire propellant, perhaps?
We then left and proceeded to our practices as previously scheduled, and could hear the sirens in the distance. I called the emergency number back, and reported our findings to the lady on the other end of my phone. When she heard the new information about the fire and it's host, she asked me to repeat it to her. "Yes, ma'am", I said. "Bees. He's burning bees." There was a muffling sound, and then laughing as she said she would definitely send an officer out to investigate the, er, Bee Burning situation.
Later that evening, I got a call back from the officer that had investigated. Apparently this man did live in the neighborhood and had taken it upon himself to "watch over" this abandoned property, and had, in fact, been burning some bees.
It just makes me all warm and fuzzy inside to know that this kind of neighborhood watch is in effect so close to my home and family! I just hope the officer talked some sense into this man, and that there won't be any spontaneous burning of rattlesnakes or any other uncontrolled burns in the near future. Holy cow.


Bee and Rose said...

Oh my goodness! This almost happened to our house! A huge beehive had landed on our property near the street. We have four acres so this was a fair distance from the house. We called UofA Ag dept and the scientists there said leave them alone, they would leave in a day or so...My neighbor came to the door later in the day to let us know they were going to do us a favor and burn them out! WHAT!!! That would have set my entire property on fire! Luckily my hubs talked them down from their craziness!!!

You are a great samaritan!! husband actually did name his truck Christine after that dumb movie!! I told him he would probably regret that when she killed us all in our sleep one night! LOL! I need that shirt!

Zeemaid said...

wow. I can't believe people would do that. Who cares if there is a hive on an abandoned house/lot? Let the poor ol bees do their thing.

Great blog btw. Thanks for stopping by mine. :)

3 Bay B Chicks said...

Day 3 of the Where’s Wenda? Contest is here. Today I am visiting all of the SITStas that commented on Three Bay B Chicks. That means you! Thanks so much for stopping by and for being a great SISta!


Stesha said...

How in the world do you burn bees? what is the reasoning behind it?

Hugs and Mocha,

AndreaLeigh said...

just stopping by from sits to show some comment love. hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

mr-stu said...

No idea why people burn bees out as they are so important to nature, but a good deed you did....have a gold star :-)

MilesPerHour said...

I wish that there were more people who would take the time to get involved to assure all is well around them.

Eve said...

Omgoodness, I am glad you called 911..Burning bees..crazy people! LOL

Stopping by from SITS. :)

I am Harriet said...

Stopping by from SITS to say "Hello".

MindyLew said...

There always has to be one in every neighborhood - LOL.

Genevieve said...

Lori, what a crazy guy!

I wanted to let you know that I have started a blog at if you want to check it out.

Jamie said...

Oh my, craziness! You sound like me calling 911 and all, hehe. Over from SITS...hoping that man doesn't decide to start watching over your house.

Jamie :-)

Seeker said...

nothing like a good "bee" burning to get the neighborhood together. Did anyone bring the weiners???

Kasey said...

that is insane! Bees...why?! I mean are the bees running rampant in your area or what?

I called 911 once when I was in college because there was a man passed out in his car just down from my house (that was half in a driveway and half in the street)face first into the steering wheel. I knocked on his window forever and he never woke, I knocked on the house that he was parked in their driveway and no one answered, finally a neighbor came and opened the car door (I thought she was crazy) and shook him and he finally came too.

when he woke we told him 911 was on the way, he freaked out and started his car and drove off!!! (me and my roommates were thinking drugs!)...anyhoo, so there I was left looking like the person that pranked 911, because there was no passed out dude! they sent a fire truck, a police car, and an ambulance...I had to tell them all he drove was a nightmare, and I thought they would for sure haul me off thinking I was crazy or something, but no worries. instead they just looked at me like I was an idiot and left.

I am Harriet said...

I enjoyed your post.
I'm just stopping by via SITS.

Beverly said...

Wow! Wonder what was wrong with the bees that they needed to be burned? Seems like bees are hurting from some disease that is also hurting the honey crop so I wonder.

Saw you on the SITS roll call.

motherhood and other ramblings

Sapphire said...

Wow!! Just crazy!!!

Fruitful Vine2 said...

Burning bees? I'm glad too that there are good neighbors looking out but burning bees? Interesting day for you.