Hi, does anyone want to come and get bees from my yard? I have bees trying to form a new hive in my front yard really close to the sidewalk where people walk their pets, kids ride bikes and mom push their strollers as they walk around the neighborhood. Or, can you tell me how to find someone to take them. With all of the bees that are dying I don't want to exterminate them. I live in Phoenix.
Wished I could help. We live in KS; too far to come. If you haven't found anyone yet, you could google local beekeepers in your area. If it is just a clump of bees that have swarmed, they are fairly easy to gather. If you don't have any luck, you might try Facebook if you are a user of that media. We have gathered 3 swarms so far in our 3 yrs of keeping bees.
Good luck to you!
I used to do a lot of swarm pick up- good source of 'freebees'
Anyway, here are a few ideas to find a local beekeeper:
Go to health food stores that specify they sell local honey. Read the labels and write down the contact info.
Look up any word related to bee keeping (apiculture, honey...) and see if there is a beekeeping club in your area.
Call an exterminator (or several) and specify that you want the bees kept alive, who do they refer?
Ask animal control, vector control and similar organizations.
We also had out phone number listed with all the local emergency services such as police and fire. If you call these organizations, specify that it is not an emergency, but you just want a phone number or other contact info.
I have some pretty entertaining bee activity and I am not knowledgable about bees. Could use some help here???? When I first noticed there was activity, I thought I had mice in the gourds working on the seeds - probably 2 months back. But as it turns out it was these bees and they have been VERY busy and they are doing some really fancy artwork on the outer part of this large old gourd.
Those are highly likely yellow jackets, hornets or wasps (I do not know which are native to your area) but they are not honeybees.
Hornets, yellow jackets and a few other species find old leaves or even chew up wood to make a sort of 'recycled paper' nest. They start with a small nest, just the queen and a few eggs, small covering about golf ball sized.
When the first eggs hatch they grow into more yellow jackets or hornets or wasps that will go foraging so the queen can stay home and lay more eggs. The nest grows, too. The workers chew away the golf ball sized outer covering, leaving just the egg area, and make a new outer covering that is just a bit larger, then a bit larger... and larger... with more and more egg laying galleries.
The biggest one I ever saw was in an attic (so protected from the cold) in a mild area where it does not freeze (so they could forage all winter). It was probably a year and a half old, perhaps two an a half years.
It was about a foot and a half across, and they had added support structures top and bottom, that may have been inhabited, too.
Most of them that I saw were only about 6 months old, and are usually not larger than a soccer ball.
Thank you Diana - you sound really knowledgeable about the insect. I think we have - native - all of the above (hornest, yellow jackets & wasps). At this point - my best bet is that they are yellow jackets. From what you have said - it makes me think instead of them using leaves to chew up and use, they must be using the inner remaining membrane of the gourd, as it could easily be close to the texture of leaves. Most interesting! I'm becoming amazed at how much construction they can do in a short amount of time. I think I know what you mean by galleries. I only wish they were honey bees.
They have strong jaws, and I have seen houses where they have chewed the tarpaper (old tar paper, dating from when there really was petroleum soaked paper used for weatherproofing), sheetrock (gypsum board) and several sorts of structural wood including fir studs and framing and plywood.
There are 2 basic types that live in my area.
1 is ground nesting, and is often found in undisturbed areas where ivy (Hedera sp) or juniper have covered the ground for several years without being pruned. They will also live in lawns (though this is rare- most people over water, and the nest keeps getting flooded).
The other type of yellow jacket is more often found in the branches of bushes, and under the eaves.
That great big one I described was in an attic.
When they get into the attic or walls they will keep on chewing their way through whatever gets in the way of enlarging their nest, and eventually eat their way through the wall, and end up inside the house.
Diana - you make caucious as to whether I should leave them or ??? Last year there was a nest in the ground about 50 feed away from where this one is. Wonder if it is some of the same offspring. Gee - Next year they may go for the house - HOPE NOT! I appreciate all your info.
These bees are annuals, the same way flowers are annuals. (Except for that nest in the attic- the only one I ever knew that was more than 1 year old)
The queen starts a new nest each spring, lives for just the summer, then dies.
In the late summer or fall they raise the fertile generation, males and females.
These mate, and the newly fertilized queens live over the winter, hiding somewhere away from the cold and wet.
I have been stung a couple of times by queens who were hiding in cardboard boxes. My client had placed the boxes out of the way, in an unused part of the yard and forgot about them. Then asked me to do a clean up job on the yard. The queens don't move much, don't fly in the cold. But were able to curl around and sting!
Diana_K - I'm really trying to keep my distance, yet keep up with their activity on the gourd. It is good to know that I can expect they are annuals. Seems they are getting a really late start as we should have frosting cold about mid October. It was pretty cool out this morn, but I noticed that had not slowed them down, they were very busy at work when I gave them a glance.
Honeybees are pretty much not flying at about 50*F.
I think Yellow Jackets are about the same. If it is just a bit warmer, then some of them may be staying home to keep the brood warm, but some start flying.