This is a close approximation of the massive hornet's nest currently residing in a tree in my back yard. The white-faced hornets in this sucker have already committed a few fly-by stingingings on me as I moved innocently about my garden. In addition, they have been invading my neighbor's bee hives and killing the bee larva.
So they've got to go. However, sneaking out at night and blasting the hive with wasp poison has failed to do more than collect a dozen or so hornet corpses. The bulk of them are still at large.
Tonight my neighbor and I will probably begin a potentially disastrous attempt to eradicate these little devils. First, we're going to armor ourselves (me in a borrowed bee bonnet and multiple layers of clothes, he in his beekeeping gear) and under cover of cooler weather and darkness attempt to cut off several of the smaller branches supporting the hive and blocking its descent.
Then the current plan calls for setting a big plywood sheet on some sawhorses so that we can position a Weber sputnik-style kettle grill directly below the hive.
Tomorrow night we'll try to get a good fire going in the grill. I suspect this means getting the fire going and then raising the grill into position beneath the hive. Then one of us has to cut the last support branch to drop the hive into the flames, where the insects will meet their fiery doom.
How will we coordinate the branch-cutting and grill positioning? Can one person safely lift a flaming Weber grill into position while the other cuts a branch? And will the damn hornets be caught enough off guard, or will they swarm in an enraged frenzy? I'd be happier if we had a metal trash can that we could get a good fire going in, but all we have is plastic.
I also kind of wish I had a flamethrower.
I'm very nervous about the whole thing. I think the Darwin Awards should be kept on standby.