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Author Topic: Feral Bee Swarm  (Read 4906 times)

Pedwardine

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • South Lincolnshire
Feral Bee Swarm
« on: May 26, 2012, 08:24:07 am »
Hoping some experienced person may be able to advise.
My neighbour had a swarm arrive in her garden last Tuesday. They started to settle in a rather awkward location about 20 feet up on the cornice under the guttering of the first floor of the house. They went under the roof tiles and she could hear them in the eaves. The odd one or two were somehow getting into the house. At this point they were busy but not aggressive. She 'phoned the Beekeeper's Association for advice and got a number for the chap who heads up locally. He said he couldn't help so she got another number, then another, all not able to help because of the location they said. Finally on the fourth call she got some chaps from about 15 miles away to come and look at the situation. They came at 8pm that night in the hope that the bees would be more settled. They did a very stupid thing (Even I know that you shouldn't do this and I've NO experience of bees) and climbed up with a receptacle and managed to get SOME of the bees in it. Some of the remainder went down the drainpipe adjacent and the guy that went up the ladder was stung several times through his suit! What they should have done I suppose was leave it there for all the bees to hopefully occupy it and come back the next day. They were apparently young and very amateur at  beekeeping but they did at least come when no-one else would. They took these bees away and then the trouble started. The remaining swarm started to get very angry and attacked. We are presuming that the queen was taken in the collected batch? Another chap came along the next evening and tried to look at what could be done but the bees are in such a difficult place and seemingly without their queen. He said the only option would be to destroy the remainder which, again, is going to prove tricky as they are all under the roof, around the guttering and down the drainpipe. They've even started coming down the chimneys into the house and she can hear them in her airing cupboard. This man said the remainder numbered around 20,000. He got stung too without even going up a ladder to see them, just by being in the vicinity. The other problem is the pond life nearby. We both have ponds with fish and apparently if any dying bees fall into the water then the fish could die too. He went away to think of what else can be done but, so far, has not come up with any fresh ideas. A council affiliated pest exterminator is coming out on Monday to tackle the situation. In the meantime these bees are just getting more agitated and she's finding it difficult to safely exit the house, attend to her veg garden etc. They will, she's been advised, die out within a few weeks, but it's a long time to just sit tight and be essentially trapped in your house.

JulieS

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Devon - EX39 5RF
    • Ford Mill Farm
Re: Feral Bee Swarm
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2012, 09:41:46 am »
Crikey, what a horrible situation live with.


I haven't got any advice I'm afraid, just hope everything gets sorted quickly.




My Mum and Dad had a swarm appear in their apple tree last year.  They called the local Beekeepers and a lady came and put a sheet down on the floor under the tree and put a 'wicker' hive shaped thing on it.  All the bees made themselves at home in it and she came back the next day to collect it.




Good luck.

Pedigree GOS Pigs and Butchery for Smallholders.

Pedwardine

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • South Lincolnshire
Re: Feral Bee Swarm
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2012, 11:17:44 am »
Thanks Julie,
the latest is a chap came at 10pm last night and put a honeytrap down. My friend has had a report back that the bees taken away tried to invade another hive and were all killed by the resident bees so perhaps they didn't have their queen. The remaining bees may be agitated because they've chosen such a vulnerable location and are now taking real interest in the trap. He's coming back on Sunday night. Fingers crossed they'll have made a new home in the trap and can be escorted safely away. So glad that they may be able to be saved. Watch this space...

JulieS

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Devon - EX39 5RF
    • Ford Mill Farm
Re: Feral Bee Swarm
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2012, 12:41:43 pm »
Do let us know how things go.  Hopefully will be sorted out soon.



Pedigree GOS Pigs and Butchery for Smallholders.

Moleskins

  • Joined Sep 2009
  • England
Re: Feral Bee Swarm
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2012, 10:22:25 am »
Sounds to me like this swarm have been out for a few days, they've found nowhere suitable to re home and are now getting tired and hungry.
Time flies like an arrow but fruit flies like a banana.

feldar

  • Joined Apr 2011
  • lymington hampshire
Re: Feral Bee Swarm
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2012, 10:47:48 am »
Looking at your thread i was going to post today about a problem i have too.
We have some feral bees starting to nest in my chicken house they are entering it through some small holes in the side and nesting high up in the eves of the house so not bothering the chickens.my problem is i was going to spray for red mite this weekend!
I dont want to hurt the bees but my chickens come first welfare wise. I sprayed a few weeks ago but that didn't put the bees off coming in, but then i didn't know they were hoping to make a nest in my house.
Any ideas?
I love bees and they aren't causing a bother to us, i would be happy for them to stay so long as my chooks are ok.

OldGaffer

  • Joined May 2011
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: Feral Bee Swarm
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2012, 01:39:43 pm »
Feldar, you do not say how many bees there are in your chicken house. If they are bumble bees, they normally make a nest of up to 50 bees. It is tricky, as the spray might kill the bees. Can you section off that part of the roof, temporarily from the main chicken house, without affecting the ventilation for the chickens at night? Just an idea ...


Pedwardine, if these honeybees are definitely queenless, then a caged queen (if the beekeeper has a spare - possible, but unlikely) would be a great attraction to the swarm and the caged queen is under total control of the beekeeper, i.e. he/she can put it in a skep, etc. Might help.


Good luck!





feldar

  • Joined Apr 2011
  • lymington hampshire
Re: Feral Bee Swarm
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2012, 05:55:12 pm »
Thanks for your help oldgaffer, i'm not good with bees but these are smallish brown ones :-\  not colourful and definately not the big teddy bear bees with the fluffy bums. they are rather plain and boring (sorry bees) and i think i will try not to disturb them as much as possible i was a bit worried the chooks may come to harm but they must have been around each other for a while now.
Do they become aggressive? or will they just do their thing this summer then leave. sorry i'm a bit at a loss with these bees.
I do hang my washing out near them but they just carry on buzzing around me and we give each other a wide berth.

OldGaffer

  • Joined May 2011
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: Feral Bee Swarm
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2012, 10:44:52 pm »
Feldar, not sure I am that much help. But, how many do you think are living in the chicken house? From what you have said, they could be Mason Bees, a small solitary bee. See this wikipedia link ... MasonBee.


A friend has loads in the brickwork of his shed and we used to have them at our last house in a small shed too.




feldar

  • Joined Apr 2011
  • lymington hampshire
Re: Feral Bee Swarm
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2012, 09:18:45 am »
Thanks OldGaffer
I think you are right they look just like these Mason bees and it would explain why when i looked in the shed i could see no sign of a nest being built. they are going between the lining of the shed and exiting out from the nail holes.
Thats fine then i will let them do their thing.
Many thanks for your help

 

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