Rural Gardening: How can I best avoid ocassionally agressive individual bees?, 1 by 2QandLearn
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Forum: Rural Gardening
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Our neighbor is a retired apiarist who brought several bee boxes home. We are in the rurals, on 1/4-1/3 acre lot, & they have a double lot. I don't usually mind the bees, even though in hot weather they make it somewhat difficult or unpleasant for birds to use their baths. However--on occasion-- one --or a few-- bees act like they're Africanized, follow us around the yard buzzing around our face/s, and sometimes 'making that beeline' for us & stinging!
Last year one got the tip of my nose; last week one stung near my jugular vein! I was just walking in the garden each time, hoping to walk out of their range. When only my nose was stung, it only hurt for a few seconds, & I thought the stinger had come out somehow. But, the entire bee was still there when I got to the mirror in the bathroom, so I know for sure it was a bee, rather than a hornet, etc.
Anyway... I want to know if the bees would be bothering with gathering water from our yard, if they have a plentiful supply of *easy to get* water near their hives...?
When I took care of their yard a few weeks years back, he had one hive there for me to keep water available for, but I recall that he floated pieces of wood in the water, and they were mossy & slippery, not to mention unstable in any breeze or wind. I've made some purposely rough concrete birdbaths for a better foothold, & soon saw even a Hummingbird bathe in one! Of course, the bees really like them, too! (There are many more bees on the rough concrete b-baths, compared to the open conch shell, old hubcap, & ceramic b-baths!)
I put a chicken watering dish (about 4"deep & 24" across) with bricks in it just inside our mutual side fence-line... but, he has a row of Tall, Bushy Oak trees along there that the bees must fly over to reach our flowers, and I don't think they notice it. I put some further out a bit, hoping to catch their eye, & then slowly move them closer to the bigger one, but they don't seem to care for those, either. So, I put one of my favorite cement b-baths at the center back of our lot, clear of trees except for some tall cacti about 8' away. We rarely venture over there. I'm staggering when I fell up the other cement b-baths, and set a large roasting pan in one of them, filled to within an inch of the top to discourage the bees, but at least give the birds an afternoon-shaded drinking water option.
I hate to have to carry a squirt-gun of soapy water (w/ tea-tree oil) every time I go out in the yard. My 'hubby' is ready to just let everything dry up to cut down on bee visits. But, we do have some flowers they like, & I will not let those dry up... nor do I want to lose our views of flapping wings & feathers spraying the surrounding few feet with water! (Dust baths are OK, but not nearly as fun to watch!)
The harassing usually starts when I'm near some water that the bees are busy with,
rather than when I'm just near some flowers. That's why I'm so focussed on the b-baths.
I looked for answers in the following site, but didn't find them. Did learn quite a bit, though:
"Basic Beekeeping Operations"
So... Do you think my only option is to take out the occasional aggressive bees with an arsenal of soapy water kept at the ready... Or, that if my neighbor really had enough water for them near the hives, offered in ways they 'prefer', that they would just stick to the flowers when in our yard?
(Most of our flowers are around the edges, while most of the b-baths are in the center.) From reading our municipal code, I'm pretty sure he is violating it regarding having any bees, at all. But, I *don't* want him to lose them... I just want to somehow avoid the ornery bees that sometimes harass & 'nail' us! (I talked to Vector Control -i guess it was- last year, & she said that many of the bees in the area have hybridized with the Africanized bees. Last year in our area, some very aggressive bees attacked-in-swarm --& killed-- some farm animals.)
BTW, when I've been stung, the area adjacent to the sting --for several inches in all directions-- always used to swell up badly, turn purple, & I'd be in excruciating pain for days! But, I now take *pure* MSM immediately following --or, use diluted DMS0 externally-- and *no longer have trouble* with swelling, bruising, OR, pain! (: Coincidence? I doubt it, considering that my dog has presented with noticeable swelling around one eye once, and on her paw another time, and both times I gave her MSM, & the swelling started going down in about an hour, & continued until it was altogether gone in awhile. Both times ocurred when the bees were very active. (She snaps at bees in fear, sometimes. Maybe stepped on one the other time.)
Anyway . . . Thank You Kindly for your Input.