Honestly, let me confess I'm really bad at handling emergencies that test my home management skills. It was simply impossible for me to imagine that I would be faced with a domestic SOS which involved swarms and swarms of honey bees attacking the balcony off my bedroom. True, balcony on a sixth floor can be very tempting for these buzzing creatures to build their hive. What infuriated me was their self-proclaimed right to occupy my 'private' space and threaten me with their painful sting. The very sight of several bees was making my skin crawl with fear.
When my mother informed me that a huge thick swarm of bees were suddenly clouding the balcony I told her to immediately shut the windows to prevent their entry into other rooms. Amazingly, in about 20 minutes they managed to 'build' their nest and by the time I reached home I could see an active population of these insects busily buzzing around. Probably, this was a case of honeybee migration, as I learnt in hindsight. Let me admit, this was my first 'close encounter' with these insects. Instantly, I was reminded of my college where we had huge beehives hanging down from the ceiling in between the pillars of the Durbar Hall. The history of their settlement seemed to be as old as the British resident who lived in that palatial monument several decades ago. I was also reminded of the 'warnings' issued to us, as students, whenever the bees were disturbed and got scattered from their colonies.
The problem at home needed urgent treatment as we depended on our balcony for some of our daily chores like drying clothes. At the same time, the sight of some bees that had already entered my house was very unnerving. Some people advised us to get the honeycomb burnt in the evening, perhaps that was a standard practice to dislodge these insects. I managed to get it burnt (with the help of a construction worker) although it presented a sorry sight as I would be held responsible for 'killing swarms of these innocent creatures' who in turn give us a wonderful health-booster like honey. Sad, but there was no other option. After the flames went off I heaved a sigh of relief for I was sure that these creatures would not dare to venture again into my space. But I was proved wrong the very next morning when I peeped into my balcony from the glasspanes of the wide window. I could see several of them, actively involved in building another nest. However, they had dispersed by evening. In the process I also sought the help of some professional pest control services but this did not prove to be a viable solution to my problem. Eventually, I got the affected spots sprayed with Gemaxin and other pesticides. This definitely helped us in preventing them from entering the balcony again, although the next morning I could still see a few of them still buzzing around as if they were searching their loved ones whom they lost in this mass annihilation.