Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.

For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.

Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!

E-mail us here.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 9, 2007 4:00 PM. The previous post in this blog was The original inconvenient truth. The next post in this blog is How to start getting out of Iraq. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
Willamette Week
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Never on the invitation list

One of the bad things that human activity may be doing to the planet is messing with the bee population. Or maybe it's just Mother Nature giving them a hard time. But either way, after attending a number of late-summer outdoor events this year where food and drink have been served, I can't say that I'm missing the yellowjackets.

Comments (8)

Gotta add my two cents here. Not that you are, but do not confuse honey bees with yellow jackets. Totally different groups. And while the honeybees have been affected my various viruses, mites, etc., any decline in the yellow jacket population is due to other factors. The primary controls on their populations - as I have witnessed over the years - has to do with climate. I am not an entomologist, but I have been observing hornet (which includes yellow jacket) behavior for years due to a deep-seated phobia… Usually the populations decline when the hibernating future colony starters (the big fat slow ones you see early in the spring) are unable to establish their underground, or in-structures colonies. This can be due to a warm spell early in the season causing them to come out of hibernation, followed by a freeze killing them. The next element to control their populations is considerable rain occurring after the initial formation of the underground colony, which is most common in this area - often deserted mole runs. They drown. No loss as far as I am concerned.

The best way to control local infestations of yellow jackets is to look for the colony starter at the end of the winter. That rolled up bamboo screen on the back porch probably serves as a hibernation place. Unroll it toward the end of winter and the fat future mothers will be nestled in their beds. Wood piles are popular. Ever wonder how the hell that big fat yellow jacket got in the house early in the spring? Probably sleeping peacefully in that piece of fir for the fire until it was brought in to the heat of the indoors. Maybe those old shoes from the backyard that were brought into the garage held a sleeper. At the end of summer when the temperature drops, individual yellow jackets will find anyplace they can to winter over and start a new colony if given the chance. I have found the best method of control is to be(e) aware in the early spring of the newly-awakened colony starters. You will find them chewing on your weathered wooden lawn furniture or been poles, etc. They chew the wood and use it to fortify their underground structures. Whack ‘em. Contrary to popular thought, yellow jackets don’t build the suspended paper nests like Winnie-the-Pooh likes to raid. Neither do honeybees for that matter. They belong to the bald-faced hornets. A particularly nasty and potentially deadly breed of hornet. They are the BIG black and white variety that go thru a similar cycle as the yellow jacket. Best to whack them early in the spring, too. No starter, no colony.

But love the honeybees. I’m sure I will get hate mail about my hornet practices, but I encourage the honeybees to the greatest extent possible. Although I have noted the steep decline earlier in the summer season, they still seem to thrive in the late summer - like the last month on - on honeybee friendly plantings. I have a grove of “devil’s walking stick” which is a kind of sumac. The explosion of white flowers attracts huge numbers of the honeybees from wild colonies. Then the flowers after being pollinated turn into little purple berries attracting lovely cedar waxwings, band-tailed doves, flickers, downy woodpeckers, and if you are lucky - the pileated woodpecker! Sunflowers are great for the honeybees too. They are wonderful and necessary. And benign.

But “whack the jack”ets. Yeah, they do a little bit of Mother Nature’s clean-up work. But when the natural food supply starts running out they get real nasty.

Anyhow, this advice and $11.00 will get you a bottle of Ladybug Red at the local Wild Oats for another month or so…

I have found the yellow jacket traps work really well - the flourescent yellow ones. Instead of using the attractant/bait that comes with the kit, I use a half-slice of raw bacon per trap - works great. The yellow jackets easily find their way into the trap, but can't find the exit. They usually die within 24 hours.

Last summer we were driven indoors for meals by yellow jackets. This year, they're just not around at all. I don't miss them much either, but I think we want/need honey bees if we want/need food.

Many years ago, I stopped at an I-80 rest
stop somewhere between The Dalles and Pendleton to eat the picnic lunch. Lovely
view of the Columbia. Saw a coyote crossing the freeway at a distance. As soon as the sandwiches were unwrapped, the yellow jacket dive bomb began. Retreat to the car.

A few years later, similar scenario at a
Forest Service drive-in site just east of Mt. Hood. Unwrap the sams and let the dive bomb begin.

Although, no one got stung.

Since an incident in which I got attacked by a nest when I was trimming my hedge, I'm been much more diligent in my yellow jacket strategy. I put four Rescue traps out at the corners of my yard by May 1st to catch the queens. I use the 10 week baits, and change them around July 1 and September 1. If I'm having a party, I add some fish or meat. And, when I change them, I go out at night and take them all down into a plastic bag and put them in the freezer for the night, empty them out and change the bait and put them back early in the morning. This has been pretty successful; wish I had an equally successful way to deal with the mosquitoes. Bees, I don't mind. My neighbor keeps bees, and they drink at my bird baths and feed on my flowers, especially the clover that makes up much of my lawn. And we get honey.

Okay, I admit an obsession with the little bastards, and maybe in my life I have had too much time on my hands to contemplate their activity, but I have found that the best way to deal with them is to - duh - destroy the nest. They can be fairly obvious if you step on one or the tine of your rake finds the entrance accidentally. But…

When yellow jackets are foraging they tend to hang pretty low to the ground or close to shrubs, etc., because they are looking for meat in the form of bugs or dead stuff. But it isn’t too hard to find the nest if you want to euthanize the colony. In the evening when the sun is low and things are highlighted laterally, look for the flying insects that are moving in a more vertically directed manner. If you have the time (and a glass of Ladybug Red) to devote to it, find a spot and survey the wide picture to see if you can spot this movement. Usually you can find a vertical up and down regularity that will lead you to your neighbor’s yard, in which case you politely ask if you can assist in improving the quality of his or her life. Hornets follow a pretty well-defined path to and from their nests. This is especially the case with the bald-faced hornets whose paper nests suspend from the inside of leafy bushes and trees, waiting for the unsuspecting pruner to get a big surprise. If you garden, note the path that the hornets are flying in when not foraging, and you will find the nest. It can be relaxing and effective in solving a problem that affects the whole neighborhood. I am not brave enough to attack the bald-faced hornets. I am happy to pay a properly attired professional. But for the yellow jackets, any of the sprays down the hole in the evening or at night can be very effective in a few treatments.

I agree the traps can divert some of them, but I figure that for each one that is trapped, there are ten more behind it.

(Is it just me or this a pretty strange diversion from the regularly posted topics?)

Addendum: I am only advocating against hornets - yellow jackets, etc. Honeybees are a thing of beauty and necessary to life as we know it.

I have actually become rather fond of bald-faced hornets.

I work as a forester in the Northwest, and have many times seen these beneficial predators snatching flies or mosquitoes right out of the air in front of me. They are not at all aggressive if they do not feel that their nest or themselves are threatened, and can be depended on to help keep biting insects in check.

Yesterday, in fact, I witnessed a most awesome spectacle -- a knock-down, drag-out fight to-the-finish between a bald-faced hornet and a yellowjacket. The two were locked face-to-face, flying, stinging each other repeatedly, and careening off of anything in their path -- trees, bushes, even my belly. It was like kamikaze insect ballet.

I hope the yellowjacket lost. I have no love for those guys.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

Clicky Web Analytics