To Bee or Not To Bee: Bomberos to the Rescue – The Yucatan Times

Whether it was pure frustration of the mind or just at wits end, there was no question…the wasps had to go…

July of last year I was surprised to find a nest of wasps building a hive under one of the branches of a palm tree in the yard.  I began to take some pictures with the camera, thinking this was great to capture nature at work.  What a sight.  Day after day, they would build and build, and subsequently the hive took shape and grew.  It was at that point, I decided to “inform” them that their time as guests here was up.  I took the natural path of shooting down the hive with a jet of water and dousing it within an inch of it’s life.

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Sure enough the hive was destroyed, the residents vacated and moved on…or so I thought.

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The next day I checked up in the branch where the hive was, and sure enough, a “clump” of wasps was hard at work starting a new hive.  Not wasting a minute, I grabbed the hose again and doused them…to no avail. They would simply disperse, then regroup at the same spot once the area had dried.  A futile effort on my part, as each day I would douse them and hope that they would get the message and leave.

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Months dragged on and I had hoped that during the winter, the nest would suffer a blow from the elements and fall off the branch.  This did not happen.  Whether it was pure frustration of the mind or just being at wits end, there was no question…the wasps had to go.  But how?


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My neighborhood has some nice people that live here.  Very helpful, and always willing to advise you when you may need it.  Friendly folk.  I took the chance the other day to ask one of them how they dealt with bees and wasps nests here.  He let out a simple chuckle and a one line answer… “Bomberos” .  This was the Spanish word for Firemen/Firefighters.  I asked him what he meant, to which he replied “When you have wild animals, bees/wasps, or even a neighbor burning garbage, just call the bomberos and they will take care of it for free.  It’s a public service they do.” I proceeded to tell him that back home (in Canada) you would have to call a “pest control service” for wasps or animals invading your home.  Here, he reminds me, we do things differently.

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Armed with this information, I made a call to the Central Dispatch (924-9242) and spoke to the operator who confirmed that they indeed do remove hives and nests.  He took my information and contact details, explained that it was a free service, and said that a team will be at my house within 30 mins to remove the hive.

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Without a word of a lie, 30mins came, and there was a knock at my door.  3 men from the local fire brigade had arrived to take care of business.  The boss, a shorter man with a several years under his belt took the time to educate me about the different bees and wasps that have invaded houses here in town, mostly because it is the season that it happens.  Apparently, the Bomberos team heads out daily this time of year to deal with wasp infestations…some simple like mine…others…not so much.

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In next to no time, the other two Bomberos had sprayed down and dismantled the hive of wasps, while the boss and I waited at a distance (and I took the opportunity to shoot some photos).  Once the spraying finished, they cleaned up the remains of the hive, bagged it, and took it away with them, asking for nothing more than a glass of water before leaving.   We all shook hands and they went off on their way…probably to another house in need of their help.   Just another day in Merida.

by Erich Briehl

Erich Briehl is a veteran videojournalist/photojournalist who’s work has taken him to Asia and throughout the Americas.  With his beginnings back in 1997, Erich has strived to maintain ethical and professional journalistic standards, while delivering the truth in all stories he presents.

To Bee or Not To Bee: Bomberos to the Rescue – The Yucatan Times
wasps nest – Google News
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