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Old Mar 14, 2012, 10:20 PM   #1
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Default Bye, bye bees

Last year I posted a thread about a swarm of bees generated by a beehive in our yard:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pe...in-cousin.html

This is a followup to that thread. The time had come to clean out that overgrown corner of the yard. These bees were no real problem - the only one to have been stung was a tree trimmer who dropped a few branches from the neighbors Ficus tree on top of the hive - even then he was able to remove most of the branches with a long pole, so these bees were really quite docile. Good bees. They generated two swarms last year (one of those the subject of the old post), and another this year. We had hoped to get them removed while they were hibernating, but this has not been a cold winter, and the bee removal guy we called wanted them active so he could find the hive under all the growth. There were two washtubs under there and we suspected the hive was in one of those and it was, but in the smaller of the two which had gotten inverted, and that is where the bees had moved in. He called some local beekeepers, but none would risk taking an established hive - only new swarms - so it was bye-bye bees. It was a shame to destroy them, but at least they propagated themselves with several swarms (probably more than the three we witnessed) When I saw what the colony looked like I grabbed the first camera at hand - my wife's Fuji HS10 (not a Pentax, but since the original thread was posted here, and I didn't know where else to post it, I put it here). It was so full I couldn't believe there was no more room in there than there was. Most of the empty cells you can see had been occupied by the swarmers.

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Last edited by penolta; Mar 15, 2012 at 10:29 AM. Reason: misspelling
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Old Mar 14, 2012, 11:03 PM   #2
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Wow! That really is amazing! We had a hive in our backyard when I was growing up - we watched it all summer but eventually the bees seemed to leave or die off, by fall there were few bees around and my parents had it removed. It was tiny compared to yours - that's quite the bee home you had.
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Old Mar 15, 2012, 7:29 AM   #3
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After reading about the hive collapse disorder it's nice to know that there are still some healthy and active hives around. Sorry it had to be in your yard!

I guess if life brings you lemons and you make lemonade a little honey in it can't hurt!

Lou
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Old Mar 15, 2012, 8:14 PM   #4
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Too bad about the (necessary) loss of the hive. Somewhat surprising that none of your local beekeepers were interested in an obviously successful colony.

Your great photos remind me of a trailer home we lived in some years ago - had a huge honeybee hive living in the walls!
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Old Mar 16, 2012, 11:24 AM   #5
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Thanks for the comments.

Harriet, the memories of these incidents lasts a long time,doesn't it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keltech View Post
I guess if life brings you lemons and you make lemonade a little honey in it can't hurt!
Lou
Unfortunately, no honey since the hive was fumigated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mole View Post
Somewhat surprising that none of your local beekeepers were interested in an obviously successful colony.
I was surprised, too, but evidently they fear incompatibility with an established hive - on the other hand a new swarm has no established colony to defend, so if they take anything it would only be a new swarm. Most of our local beekeepers are hobbyists, and have no room for additional hives, anyway. The person we called was brutally honest and told us that most of the firms that promise live removal just destroy the bees after they leave the premises with them, because they know no one will take them. At least he tried to make us feel better about it by having made an attempt to find them a home before he proceeded, although I am sure he knew what the answers would be.

We had a fence around the area to keep the dog away from it - the fence is gone now, and the dog got skunked this morning - maybe a residuaul smell of honey attracted the skunk. I am sitting here now with my eyes tearing from another residual smell! The Law of Unintended Consequences strikes again!
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Old Mar 17, 2012, 9:17 PM   #6
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Poor puppy-dog! I feel for both of you (I'm sure the dog is NOT happy). Does this mean that the folk remedy of washing the dog in tomato juice doesn't work? Luckily I've never had to use it, so I'm wondering.
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Old Mar 18, 2012, 10:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Poor puppy-dog! I feel for both of you (I'm sure the dog is NOT happy). Does this mean that the folk remedy of washing the dog in tomato juice doesn't work? Luckily I've never had to use it, so I'm wondering.
Actually it does work quite well - it just adds another odor to the mix, and a slight pink tinge to the coat!

Thankfully, this wasn't a full shot, and it is dissipating quite rapidly, in spite of the dampness from rainy weather - the rain did wash down the yard rather thoroughly and the outdoor smell is totally gone, and the house aired out - just a faint smell left where the dog sleeps, and a faint aura around her. Glade Odor Neutralizer works well indoors, too.
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Last edited by penolta; Mar 18, 2012 at 10:53 AM.
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Old Mar 18, 2012, 9:09 PM   #8
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We started off with rain (quite a deluge) but it changed to snow at some point, and by this morning we had several inches. I'll post some shots, spent the day taking walks around the subdivision and admiring our one day of winter (that's an exaggeration, but not by much).
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Old Mar 20, 2012, 3:33 PM   #9
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Very interesting pictures of the hive. My wife, before we were married, spent some a couple of summers as an amateur beekeeper. She was working on her degree in microbiology during that period and found the life and times of the honeybee to be a fascinating subject.

I'll have to show her your pictures.
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Old Mar 20, 2012, 5:43 PM   #10
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Incredible, a little sad though.

Rodney
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