Thursday, July 03, 2008

Preparing for the Fourth

Yes, tomorrow is Independence Day. That means picnics, and "picnic" in some areas means yellow jackets. So in the interest of helping you, I remind you of what I learned from the caterer at my mom's high school reunion last year.

As a caterer/restaurateur, however, her concern was less about the honeybees and more about the yellow jackets, who are the scourge of outdoor eating events, which is what my mom's reunion was. And indeed it was a yellow jacket going for the candy corn. But she has (through much trial and error) discovered a highly effective way of keeping the yellow jackets away from the party:

Before she unwraps the food, she takes a piece of meat and hangs it from a tree away from the party but close enough to attract the yellow jackets. When she sees that the pesky creatures have congregated on the meat, she knows they'll leave the party alone, and she unveils the food. One or two strays may hang out at the party, but the rest stay occupied for the night. She said the yellow jackets devour the piece of meat by the end of the evening (like flying piranahs), but by then, she's cleared all the dirty dishes and cups, so they won't attract the bugs back to the party.

It's a slick trick, and I offer it to you as a public service announcement. A bowl of apple juice will also attract them, where they'll drown (or at least not be able to get back out). And fishermen can toss a small fish--one not worth bothering to clean and eat--to the side to keep the yellow jackets away from the keepers.

After the picnic, as sunset approaches, look to the western sky. Two planets and a star will be in alignment, giving a lovely show:

Source: NASA

I'll be working at the Del Mar Fair, and my job will have me facing east. So I'll have to turn around and take a peek behind me once in a while to catch a glimpse. Provided the marine layer of clouds doesn't decide to get in the way.

1 comment:

Bekah said...

EXCELLENT public service announcement! I had no idea that would work, and I hate being overrun by bees.