The common orb spider is a fascinating beast, eight legs, eight eyes, covered in bristles. It's no wonder people get the creeps around them. They move with a grace and speed, seizing their prey and encasing it for a slow, painful death by dissolution. I hate the little buggers - they make my skin crawl.
I began by dumping them out. I deported the spiders to the bushes near my shed, soon creating a crawling cluster of spiders, some of whom happily devoured their weaker sisters. Once I found the first three I went on a raid, clearing every spider I could find from my shed. It was a lot of spiders, more than I had noticed before. My guess is that they've always been there, I just turned a blind eye to them.
The next day they were back. The little buggers had crawled back into my boxes, respun their webs, and even caught a few meals. Under cover of darkness they had left the bushes which are their natural home and returned. So I took them out again, further. This time I left them on a single tree about twenty yards from the shed. It looked like a scene from Arachnophobia, with all the orb spiders crawling around. Things were fine until Thursday.
Thursday they were back. I squished two to send a message. Then, as I watched a couple of yellow jackets flew into the shed. They crawled into the honey supers and began to search for something sweet. It is the time of the year when Yellow jackets trade their mildly insane aggressive behavior for full scientology crazy aggressive behavior. And then I noticed that one was caught in an orb spider's web. Most spiders don't mess with wasps. Wasps are fairly high on the predator chain in the insect world and your average spider isn't quite strong/crazy/dumb enough to risk a confrontation with something that wounds with one end and kills with another. Not the orb spiders.
The orb spiders would clip the webs so that the wasps had slack and let them struggle. Once the wasp tired the spider would dart in, setting off a new frenzy from the wasp and triggering a hasty retreat by the spider. The spider never left though. They'd start repairing their web, circling the wasp, waiting. The wasps would tire. The spiders were patient. And it was then that I realized that these spiders had something to offer me. Much like the guy who works on the concrete, or the woman who cleans the hospital sheets, these eight legged freaks had something to offer. So I decided to test immigration theory on my arachnid squatters.
Stage One: I threw open the shed, shouting Immigracion! The spiders ignored me. I rounded them up, put them on shoe boxes, and deported them to the bushes where they lived before the shed was there. The boxes were clear, I was able to go through my equipment without being afraid of a necrosis inducing bite, and I spent a lot of time killing wasps. The next day they were back. Because I was committed to the cause, I deported them again, this time on an air flight, throwing the box back into the bushes. The spiders continued to return.
Stage Two: I decided to institute a "Guest Predator" program. I gathered up the spiders and lectured them while my wife tried to decide if I was hallucinating or if she should lock the doors while I was outside. I explained to my fine orb spinning guests that they were welcome, even necessary in my shed, and all I asked was that they return to their point of origin, pay a small fine (in dead wasps) and be certified to return. That evening I sat in a lawn chair by the bushes and waited, flashlight and marking paint in hand. I waited, I waited. Total number of spiders entered by the "Guest Predator" program? One. And I'm pretty certain he was actually at the bushes already. The spiders in the shed built their webs, ate their wasps, and generally ignored my good will attempts to assimilate them.
Stage Three: This time I deported all the spiders to the bushes, and set up my son's train track to serve as a fence. That night, under cover of darkness, I observed the orb spiders crossing the garden, crawling down the timbers, and coming to my fence. And not one stopped. Not a single spider honored the borders of my country, they all crossed illegally. Taking a page from the minute men, I took a bull horn and shouted at the spiders while shining lights at them. "Go back!" I yelled. The ones I shined the light at turned back, afraid. There was one of me and dozens of them though, so while I kept one or two on their side, most simply slipped by un noticed and set up again their beautiful wasp killing orbs. I set up Optimus prime near the bushes and offered to transport spiders across the border for a few dozen flies but the spiders weren't interested.
The spiders were not at all deterred from crossing my borders. No amount of deporting them, yelling, jack-lighting, or fencing them would keep them from coming back to the shed. The reason? The shed is opportunity. The next day I let the spiders be, and they killed a goodly number of wasps, as well as a few foolish bees. The bees will be fine - there's 60,000 more of them. As I finished up working on the honey frames I noticed that each of the spiders was carrying with it an egg sack. They returned to the shed despite the risk of getting squished because the shed represents their best opportunity to provide for their family. Well, for their eggs.
Now I don't like the spiders. They are hairy, and ugly, and they don't speak English. They reproduce without birth control as often as possible, and they completely disregard my sovereignty and law making ability. And it turns out I need them. They aren't looking to take over my place as beekeeper. Then again, they aren't learning English as best I can tell, and I'm dreading needing to post signs in spider and English, but the general points still apply:
Illegal aliens are not spiders, but they are driven by similar forces. It's the desire to eat that drives the spiders, and the aliens risking transport in shipping containers and box cars are no different. My laws, my fences, my "kind offers" - they mean nothing to the spiders, and neither do our rules to illegal aliens. For the sake of feeding their family (and some come from extended family cultures that rival the spiders) they will disregard all danger. Guest workers programs would require returning to a point where they can't feed their families, and paying a fine they don't have the money for. More than anything, our economy is dependent on their cheap labor to get our fruit to the table, our roads built, our bridges under-maintained.
I've decided to take the spiders up on their generous offer. They can continue to live in the shed. I'm taxing them two wasp heads a weak and best of all I've managed to stop wasting my time fighting a battle that cannot be won. What if we carded illegals? Ran them through the documentation system and let them stay, let their employers pick up the fines? If illegals are a drain on our resources, why not force them into the system and let them start contributing rather than deporting them to a place they'll never stay?
The spiders are starting to grow on me, I admit. I leave them alone, they mostly leave me alone, and the wasps get the bad end of the deal.