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Any beekeepers here?

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Aaron_W

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#1
It appears we have had a hive of honey bees set up shop in my front porch.

We have a semi-enclosed front porch and they seem to have moved into one of the short walls. There is a small gap on the underside to let water drain, and there is a consistent flow of bees in and out. I'm assuming they have just moved in as we have never seen a large number of bees around the house before, and it only looks to be maybe 20-30 at the moment.

We know bees are good to have around and do not want to hurt them, we don't even mind having them on the property if there was a way to lure them into a more appropriate location. Just don't want them in the wall of the house.

Don't know if they would like one of those commercial bee boxes better, or failing that I'm guessing there are people who will relocate a hive without destroying it.

We have been talking about planting some fruit trees so having a local tribe of bees wouldn't be a bad thing.


Thanks
 

Doubleeboy

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#2
Put a listing in your local craiglist under farm or agriculture, someone will come and get them, or you could get a vale and gloves and gently move the queen and bees surrounding her to the new home, the workers will follow. Avoid working bees on cloudy days if you can, they are much more tame when its sunny. If you work them too roughly they will let you know with the intensity of their buzz. If you are nervous and uptight they pick up on it real quick. Need to be relaxed to be a successful beekeeper.
 

francist

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#3
I don't know about your area, but around here a stray colony gets rapid attention from the local beekeeping community. They have a kind of hotline amongst themselves to go out and rescue the bees as soon as they are reported. Colonies are always in demand.

My neighbour keeps bees, a few hives about thirty feet from my back porch actually, and they're no problem. You should be able to contact someone in your area, local agriculture office maybe or something similar, and get a contact for keepers in your region. Probably want to get to it soon -- my Dad extricated a colony in the wall of my grandmothers house that had been there for a bit. The wall was just full of honey!

Good luck!

-frank
 

Aaron_W

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#4
We have a local non-profit reptile rescue group who will come and get rattlesnakes and other "problem" reptiles, so I'm sure we have a bee friendly hive remover, just need to find them.

I was hoping it might be as simple as buy them a bee condo that they can't resist. :)

Reptile Rescue.jpg reptile close up.jpg
 

dlane

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Reptiles don’t fly and sting, or make honey or, pollinate or ?
We used a vacume cleaner / and a garbage bag at nite when they had to go .
 
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SSage

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Yep, best to post an add on your local craigs list or something. A local bee keeper will probably want them.

You just drop them into a deep box with a few filled out brood frames or a medium etc. I built little mini brooders that take full size frames for the purpose of catching small colonies. Everyone has their own techniques, depends on how aggressive the colony is too. Its a lot of work though, I don't like messing with them much these days. Its easier to raise your own, I've been attacked by a colony I didn't relize had been raided by some nasty black bees and its not painless at all. Lost a few days of work till the swelling went down. Best to fully suit up till you know what your dealing with, I always protect my face now. Learned my lesson, don't always assume everything in there are gentle honey bees.

You may or may not have gentle honey bees, there are so many variables these days.
 

Aaron_W

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Reptiles don’t fly and sting, or make honey or, pollinate or ?
We used a vacume cleaner / and a garbage bag at nite when they had to go .
No just figured if we have snake rescues, we probably have bee rescues. Bees make honey, snakes eat mice, spiders eat annoying bugs all are welcome near me, just not in my house. :)


I was able to talk to someone I know in another county who keeps bees and he was able to give me some good information about the process. I can call around tomorrow to try and find someone local to come and find them a new home.

It sounds like the little drainage slot on my porch is designed very much like the entrance of a bee box, I'm kind of surprised this hasn't happened before now.

You may or may not have gentle honey bees, there are so many variables these days.
I'm not messing with them, but I was able to get a few feet away to see where they are coming from. They are pretty mellow, and seem happy, several were coming back loaded pretty heavy with pollen. I've lived in areas with "africanized" bees and they are usually much more aggressive.

I have a good report with most multi legged critters, it is the two legged ones that usually cause me trouble. If it wasn't part of my house I'd be fine with them staying.
 

Dave Smith

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I worked a year with 3,000 hives when I was younger----by having them in the wall will prohibit you from ever getting honey---if there are under 50 bees now there probably isn't even a queen yet---maybe they just found where an old colony was at one time---just wait till most leave and then duct tape over the slot--then watch to see if they have another entrance--if so you may need to remove the siding so a bee keeper can entice them in into a hive and set it away from the house----one hive in a good summer can produce up to 300 lbs of tasty honey---especially around fruit trees ---Dave HADDAM KANSAS (5).jpg
 
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jim18655

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If you're in Southern California call a pro in as they could be Africanized and not very friendly. You would need to carefully open the wall and move the queen into the new hive box so that the workers follow her. Look around for a local bee club because they usually keep a list of members that will extract colonies or catch swarms.
 

Aaron_W

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I'm in Northern California, and we haven't really had issues with the Africanized bees this far north.

I talked with a local bee keeper this morning, he will be coming out to have a look this afternoon. The number of bees coming and going has probably doubled just since yesterday, so I'm guessing they have only been here a few days and not heavily invested yet.

For those curious I'm attaching a couple of photos. I had to cut away some plants to get a good picture for the bee guy. The bees seemed unconcerned about my presence. A couple of curious guards buzzed me, but went back to their business when I backed off.

Outside wall of porch

Bees1.jpg

Inside wall of porch. Slot goes all the way through, but no bees hanging out here.
Bees2.jpg

Close up showing the slot they are coming and going from. I think the wall is just open inside this slot which makes for a nice bee home. Once this is all done I will be adding some screen here to discourage future home seekers.
Bees3.jpg
 

jim18655

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A good, healthy queen can lay 1500 to 2000 eggs per day. The queens that swarm are usually older and toward the lower end of the scale. 21 days from egg to hatched bee. Average life span is about 42 days. Swarm is about 3 lbs of bees which is about 3-4000 bees per pound. Glad you're trying to relocate them. Too many people would have sprayed them.
 

core-oil

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#12
Over here in Scotland where I live, Unfortunately most of the younger neighbours somewhat sanitise their gardens, which gets rid of bee's and wasps, By sanitising I mean monoblock pavings and ripping out flower beds etc, so unfortunately we do not have much feeding for these wee guys, Over the past years I had a small colony in the brick work at my back door , It was always nice to sit with a cup of coffee and watch these wild bees come and go, Unfortunately a couple of years back we had a prolonged rainy spell , followed by a long cold snap, and that wiped the colony out, When the spring came back round the hive never recovered
One vof my pals is a bee enthusiast and in his works yard he has about six hives , A year back some little vandals broke in and torched one of his works buildings, and with all the smoke and mess he thought that would be the end of his bee's, But No ! the following morning where the hives were concerned it was back to buisiness.

Long years back, when I lived in a fairly remote area, which was surrounded by trees, and deeper undergrowth at the bottom of my garden I had a large wasp colony, these guys can be big trouble, but strange to say the problem was minimal, and where the garden was concerned these wee guys, did not half snack out on greenfly and other pests, The down side was at the end of summer when they were tired and bad tempered , and if they came near the house a sting is not nice, to some folk's it can be fatal.
 

Aaron_W

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Meat bees / yellow jackets and black widows are about the only critters on my shoot first ask questions later list. I'll even let the black widows alone if they are somewhere that won't be a problem for me.

I have my wife and kids trained to get me if they find something that doesn't belong in the house. I've probably escorted a couple hundred spiders out of the house, and at least one scorpion. I have arranged to have rattlesnakes relocated.

Most of these critters have a job to do, they just don't need to be doing it in my house.


I do have to admit the thought has crossed my mind to leave them alone and put a plexiglass window in that inner wall so I can watch them to their thing.
 

jim18655

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Bees will cover a glass observation window with propolis (bee glue) in no time to shut out the light. They like it dark in the hive. All the dances they do and the work they do is all in the dark. It's amazing how they work and live in total darkness. The more I learn about bees I realize there's so much we'll never know about how the operate.

I can't stand the people that will go out of their way to run a snake over, even dead ones. I've seen people swerve into the other lane to hit a harmless snake or turtle. Snakes I find in the yard usually get relocated only because I don't want to hit them with the lawnmower.
 

jim18655

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One of the swarms I caught about 5 lbs of bees trying to fit in a 3 lb box. That's a 5 frame deep box. All the frames are covered inside also.
IMG_0900.JPG
 

Aaron_W

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Bees will cover a glass observation window with propolis (bee glue) in no time to shut out the light. They like it dark in the hive. All the dances they do and the work they do is all in the dark. It's amazing how they work and live in total darkness. The more I learn about bees I realize there's so much we'll never know about how the operate.

I can't stand the people that will go out of their way to run a snake over, even dead ones. I've seen people swerve into the other lane to hit a harmless snake or turtle. Snakes I find in the yard usually get relocated only because I don't want to hit them with the lawnmower.
When I was a kid there was a small kids science center at a local park. One of the exhibits was a working beehive, basically a bee box with one side removed placed against the building. They had a window set into the wall looking into the hive so the kids could see them at work from inside the building. They even had the queen marked with a colored dot to identify her. I remember being fascinated watching them when I was 4 or 5 years old. I have no idea what they did to keep the light from being an issue.

I know it would not be a practical thing to do, just something that popped into my head. I'd probably spend hours watching them instead of making stuff.
 

jim18655

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Google "observation hive" and some look like fine furniture. I remember the Smithsonian Institute had an observation hive in one of the buildings. i could also spend hours watching them work.
 
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