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Rural Gardening: I need help identifying these

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Forum: Rural GardeningReplies: 7, Views: 113
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Belleville , IL
(Zone 6b)

August 8, 2008
12:37 PM

Post #5385548

Last Sunday I was out in my backyard using my Reciprocating saw to prune back an overgrown Wisteria. I didn't notice these until I turned off the saw and the humming continued. There right in front of me was this mass of swarming "bees". I immediately went to the house with my saw and no one stung me. They just sort of swarmed in a mass but never attacked. I was making quite a disturbance as the wisteria is on a chain link fence. I was leaning a branch up to the top pole to steady the branch, so it was shaking the vine rather vigorously.
I wasn't sure what they were as I didn't stick around to find out. last year my neighbor was stung repeatedly by hornets when he used his lawn mower and ran over their nest. So I was not going to stick around.
Now this morning, nearly a week later, I decided to take some pictures outdoors and then remembered this nest and decided to use the zoom and take a picture into the vine. I didn't have my glasses on, but luckily they were in my picture.
Ok, can someone identify them. I need to get a company out to remove them and tell them what they are. Hopefully, if they are honey bees, they will not kill them.
I have dogs that go in that area of the yard and do not want them stung by mad "bees"
They do not seem to be aggressive at all since I left some uncollected debris there when I ran for cover. This morning I see that one of the dogs went over there and pulled the branches into the yard. He was luckily not stung.
So can someone tell me what the best thing is to do.I really need to be able to use my yard safely and mow the lawn over there.
I used to run the riding mower right over there and even fling the vines out of my way as I sped along cutting grass. These seem to be some really tolerant bees.
I don't want to unnecessarily harm them, but I do need some advice on what action to take.

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Milton, FL
(Zone 8a)

August 8, 2008
3:14 PM

Post #5386166

Call a local beekeeper.That is a nice swarm of honeybees.They have probably started a comb,or two,in there because they vcouldn't find a better home.
Belleville , IL
(Zone 6b)

August 8, 2008
10:16 PM

Post #5387812

Ok, I wonder how to find a beekeeper.
Milton, FL
(Zone 8a)

August 8, 2008
11:58 PM

Post #5388142

Local fire and police departments usually have a list.Wish I was closer.Why not get an empty hive and start beekeeping.You have already seen that these are gentle.If they have started combs you have plenty of time.They won't leave the brood and will stay until winter kills them.
Belleville , IL
(Zone 6b)

August 15, 2008
8:51 PM

Post #5419218

A beekeeper is coming this evening to have a look. He said it is probably a colony and not a swarm, since they have been here so long.
He is going to try to take them. My dog Petey goes over to their area every chance he gets and sticks his nose in there.
I wish I could keep bees, but it sounds like bees are out of the question here with a nosy dog. They are right about fence height and he is a tall dog so he doesn't even have to jump to stick his nose in the vine.He is very lucky they haven't stung his nose at least.
Williamsburg, MI
(Zone 4b)

August 15, 2008
9:08 PM

Post #5419276

I have a labrador who was notorious for chasing and eating bees. We got hives, but fenced them in to keep him out. The very first day he managed to nose his way in and got stung three times. He hasn't looked at the hives since, even though he still chases and eats bees other places. (he's a lab, what can I say?)

We have found keeping bees fairly easy and rewarding (after the first year of learning). his year we will get several quarts of hiney and my garden has never been better.

The diffrence between a swarm and a colony is that a swarm of bees has just left the hive to find a new place when there are too many in the old one. The are very docile, but don't stay in one spot too long. In the center of the swarm is a queen and they go where she goes.

A colony has already decided that the ARE home and start raising brood. Usually they only make a hive in an enclosed space.

Belleville , IL
(Zone 6b)

August 15, 2008
10:24 PM

Post #5419626

Well, I have no idea how he is going to get them out, but it should be interesting to watch, from a distance. LOL
Wish I had a window to watch from, but it is on the garage side and we can't see it from inside the house.
Here is his website
Kennett Square, PA

September 8, 2008
5:31 PM

Post #5524995

I hope your swarm removal was successful. I started beekeeping two years ago with 2 very curious and active springer spaniels. After the first day when them both tried to eat bees and learned the consequences, neither has gone near the hive. They are not scared, they just act like the hive is not sitting there.

Check our your local beekeeper groups (google your county and beekeeper) to see if they give beginner beekeeper courses. In a couple of hours you can learn about how to get started and how to get equipment and bees.

It is great fun - and a pet that does not need to be kenneled when you go away!

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