Hi, I'm new to Dave's Garden. I live in central Massachusetts where we have had an unusually mild winter.
It's up in the 60's the past couple of days and bees are swarming all over my compost bin. Not that I dislike the bees, I'd love to move them to a new hive spot more convenient for me. Can they be moved safely? Does anyone have experience with this?
Was there something I put in my bin that may have attracted them? I just do the usual, kitchen waste of veggies, fruits, coffee grounds, brown paper, and the yard waste -- grass, leaves, wood chips.
Hmmm. I hope that's the answer. I do put cut flowers in there, but I haven't for a while. I don't generally put sugar, honey or molasses, although I do put in fruit rinds. I put in some moldy strawberries and blueberries the other day.
I've seen the bees before, on another day in the 60's last month, then they seemed to go away. I thought maybe they were hibernating? I've turned the pile in the bin as recently as three weeks ago and there were no bees then. Someone else suggested that maybe they were looking for water or minerals.
Thanks so much for your feedback. I sure hope they're just visiting!
I live right next to a stream, so they can't be looking for water. In the last two days, temps have dipped back down again and no bees flying around the bin. I added more material to the compost bin and didn't see any bees at all. I'll let you know if they turn up again in the warm weather.
Is it possible that the insects are another kind of bee - not honeybees? When I was reading up on blue mason bees, I believe I it said there were well over a thousand species of bees. Most are solitary (no hive) like the blue mason bee.
Also, if these are yellow jackets, figure out some way to get them out (other than poisoning, of course) because their sting is very painful (first hand info).
Yeah, I looked at the photo again and I thought they were honeybees too. I know you had hives and know much more than I do about bees. BTW I am having a lot of honeybees visit my blueberry flowers this year, possibly because of the early bloom. I'm glad to see them back, last year it was mostly bumblebee types.
In Huntersville, I had some kind of in-the-ground bees (def. not yellow jackets) every year. They never attacked me or my dog, but I didn't push my luck. The came out every morning and "went to work" I never saw them coming home.
Yes, as HoneybeeNC said, there is a specific spray that is more of a stream - ask for help at the garden store in finding the right one. The other trick is to go to the hole AT NIGHT. They will all be home, resting. Spray "as directed" I think I used about half the can. None were able to come out that night, maybe I killed them in their sleep. (I had a young Labrador Retriever at that time and she was very curious - I was really afraid that she would sniff around and get badly stung).
The spraying was 100% effective. None ever came or went into the hole again.
I too cannot tolerate yellow jackets near the house or people. I feel bad, but not as bad as when my kid gets stung!. We've had to spray holes several times, right around our sidewalk or foundation. (One good dose of spray, different holes in different years) If you ever notice one yellow jacket near the ground, step back and watch carefully, and you will probably see a stream of them going in and out at active times of day. Then see the hole.