Hummingbird House The Garden Helper
No-dash-here, you've found The Real Garden Helper! Gardening on the Web since 1997
vine bar
Wild Willy
 

Swarming Bees

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
« Prev thread: Swallowtail crysalis| Next thread: Sweet 100 tomatoes »
Back to Thread index
by Southern Gardener on April 01, 2006 11:23 PM
I saw a sight that was really amazing just over an hour ago- swarming bees- thousands of them. The noise they made was like a dull roar. They seem to be concentrated in the hedge that lines our yard.

The air was just brown with them they were so thick. From what information I can find on the Internet they are Honey bees and are looking to establish a queen and a colony.

I know Honey Bees are important to our ecology, but my worry is that they will try to set up residence in the structure of our house. We are in the process of doing a lot of work on the outside of our house- pulling off old siding, etc and getting ready to paint. Does anyone know of a way we can keep them from getting into our house? [scaredy]

So far I haven't seen any solutions to keep them away on the internet- only what to do when they have already moved in- I want to keep that from happening! [shocked]

Thanks for any help!

Sandy
by weezie13 on April 02, 2006 06:50 AM
Can you give them a home with a honey bee
thing... *I can't remember what the exact name
of the thing is called..*

It's a wooden box..
And they'd be more likely to go to it, and just stay content there...dunno.....

*I would love to have a hive... but I live in town and it's a no~no...*

Let me see if Beebiz is around....
He's got a hive and knows a bit about those guys...

**I loveeeeeee honey bees....*

* * * *
Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

 -
 -
 -

http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by beebiz on April 02, 2006 10:13 AM
Sandy said:
quote:
I saw a sight that was really amazing just over an hour ago- swarming bees- thousands of them.
Hey Sandy, you are quite right about it being an amazing site. And usually a rather intimidating one too!! [Smile] But, they probably won't bother you personally unless you go over and disturb them. So, unless you have experience with honey bees, be curious from a distance!! [teacher]

Sandy said:
quote:
From what information I can find on the Internet they are Honey bees and are looking to establish a queen and a colony.
That's partially correct. Swarming is the way that bees multiply their colony. There are many reasons for a hive of bees to swarm, but the most common ones are overcrowding in the hive or an old queen who is either a weak egg layer or sick.

When the right conditions exist, the workers (females in the colony) will take some of the larve and encase them in a queen cell. They will then begin feeding them royal jelly so that they will develop into queens.

When they hatch out, one of the new queens will kill off all of the other new queens and leave the old queen alone. Soon, the new queen leaves the hive and mates with a drone (the males of the colony), and then returns to the hive.

Soon after the new queen returns, the old queen will take about 1/2 of the hive with her and leave. The old queen and the workers find a place to "hang out" while scout bees (also females) search for a suitable new home/hive. That is the part that you are witnessing right now.

Sandy said:
quote:
Does anyone know of a way we can keep them from getting into our house?
Sandy, I will make two recommendations here. The first is try to find a local beekeeper who will come and get the swarm. If you don't know one, call your local police department, sheriff department, or fire department. Many of those departments keep a list of who to call for swarm removal. But, Do not call 911!! They do not consider a swarm of bees to be an emergency!!

I don't know about the beekeepers in your area, but around here they will gladly come and get the swarm at no charge. But, there are some beekeepers in other places that will charge for the swarm removal, and prices vary.

If you can't find a beekeeper to come and get the swarm, this is my next suggestion. At the end of each work day, make sure that all possible entries to the house are bee-proofed! Remember that a honeybee only requires just under 3/8" of space to get through!

When honeybees swarm, they don't like to stay without a home for long because they realize that they are vulnerable to the elements and predators. So even if you can't find a local beekeeper that will come get them, they will probably move on within 24 hours. Two days was the longest that I've ever seen a swarm hang around before moving on.

Even when this swarm is gone, keep in mind that honeybees are begining their swarming season right now. So, just because you get rid of this bunch of girls, it's no sign that there won't be another one drop in on you!! Because of that, I would always try to bee-proof the house at the end of the work day.

Oh, I just happened to think of something else. Most all states have a beekeeper's association. I noticed that your profile says that you are in Virginia. I found a site called "Tidewater Beekeeper's Association." They claim to be the largest local beekeeper's association in Virginia. To find them, click here. They don't have any local beekeepers listed, but they do have a list of beekeepers (some have phone numbers available) who have honey for sale. Click on the "Local Honey For Sale" link on the lower left-hand side of the page.

I hope this helps you out. If it weren't so far from my home in West Tennessee to where you are, I would be more than happy to come and get the swarm from you. But, I don't think either you or I would be willing to pay for the gas that it would take to make that round trip!! [Wink] Again, I hope this helps!

Bee good,
Robert

* * * *
My New Web Site If you take a look, please sign my guest book so I'll know you've been there! Also, check out the new African Violet addition to my site! Thanks
by beebiz on April 02, 2006 10:38 AM
Hey Weezie,

I tried to reply to your PM, but it said your box was full. I just wanted to say thanks for emailing me and let you know that I'd be glad to help if I could.

The wooden box "thing" to which you refer is called a hive! [teacher]

Most hives in use in the US are called Langstroth hives. They are comprised of two to three types of boxes. They are hive bodies (where the bees actually live and reproduce), medium supers (can be used for honey storage or for hive bodies) and shallow supers (used for honey storage).

But, in addition to the wooden boxes, you need many other things to have a Langstroth hive. You need the frames that go inside the hive boxes, foundation wax or starter strips, a bottom board, entrance reducer, an inner cover, and an outer cover. And, all of that stuff is expensive!! And all of this stuff is over and above the protective clothing, tools, and other things that one needs to keep a hive of bees!!

But, I have found a way to build hives by using scap lumber that is readily available from building sites and such..... and it's FREE!!! [thumb] The hive to which I refer is called a Top Bar Hive (TBH). And, one of these days, I'm going to add information about them to my site! But right now, I just don't have the time!!!

Weezie said:
quote:
*I would love to have a hive... but I live in town and it's a no~no...*
Girl, you can have honeybees anywhere.... even in the city!! Click here and check out the "city bees!" [Wink]

Weezie said:**I loveeeeeee honey bees....*[/quote]

So do I!!! [thumb] They are the hardest working creatures that I know of. And the honey that they produce is truley the "nectar of the gods!!"

Gotta run for now. Hope I was of some help. But, I know that the weekend is not exactly the best time to try to get a swarm of bees removed..... but, you can't tell the girls that!!! [Big Grin] [Big Grin]

Later,
Robert

* * * *
My New Web Site If you take a look, please sign my guest book so I'll know you've been there! Also, check out the new African Violet addition to my site! Thanks
by Southern Gardener on April 02, 2006 10:38 PM
Hi to Robert and Weezi!

I can't begin to thank you for all the wonderful information! I totally enjoyed every word- thank you Robert- your advice and wisdom is grand! [clappy]

The report for today is- no sign of any bees. After learning all I did from Robert's reply I'm rather disappointed they left so soon...

Yes, it was an impressive sight to see all those bees- and the noise they made too!

I too would love to have hives in our yard- ever since reading about Sherlock Holmes and his retirement and his taking up bee keeping, the subject has interested me. There is so much fascinating folklore about bees- about whispering a person's name to the bees when that person dies- something like that.

Thanks again for all the information! I shall print it out and keep it!

All the best.

Sandy [kitty]

Active Garden Forum

« Prev thread: Swallowtail crysalis| Next thread: Sweet 100 tomatoes »
Back to Thread index
Similar discussions:

Other articles you might like: