I live in an old house with lots of eaves and overhangs that form perfect nooks and crannies for all manner of flying insects to take up residence.
If there's a tiny Lonely Planet travel guide for wasps, bees and hornets, my house is a recommended destination.
Recently, I noticed a chorus of buzzing outside my kitchen window. Honeybees had established a hive through an attic ventilation shaft just above the window.
Somehow, some of the bees had gotten into the kitchen. I hurriedly duct-taped all the gaps in the window frame through which the bees had possibly squeezed and nervously scanned the ceiling for other potential entryways.
Then I wondered what I was going to do next.
I couldn't very well have bees flying in my house. My thoughts turned to my cats and the possible danger the bees posed to a feline that might try to swallow one.
My first instinct was to call my landlady and have her send in the exterminators.
But then I thought, wait a minute, these are honeybees. Something's killing them all over the country. Did I want to add to that?
I decided I would live with the hive and deal with the few bees that somehow made their way into my kitchen.
And then, just a couple days ago, the frantic apian comings and goings outside the window stopped. Where there had been a cloud of bees outside the hive, there was now only silence.
We had been having a stretch of chilly weather the past few days, and I thought the bees were staying inside the hive as a result. But the days have gotten slightly warmer, and there is still not a trace of them.
Not one single bee.
This is very frightening.