April 9, 2014 at 8:30 pm #8305
I am in Bakersfield. I have been watching a beehive in my backyard in my water box (the one from the water company) for over a year. They are really interesting. My husband claims they are “Italian bees” because they are small and fuzzy. A few things have happened.
1. A Larger bee came in and tried to attack/take over the hive and the little guys kicked butt. It was awesome to watch and listen to. The buzz was incredible. I have some of it on my phone. Later, the little bees were carrying off the dead bodies. (no problem here, just interesting)
2. I am assuming that a new queen was born and she took half the group with her…. a few yards away into my grape vines. That too was awesome. We planted them a new empty water box since that is what they seem to like living in. When I went to bed, he and my son brushed some of the bottom bees into a bag and put them in the new box. No go. They were not thrilled. We tried to find someone to take them as we have no real bee experience. A pest guy came and moved them to his orchard ($300) :(( That was a week ago.
3. Now today, they split again. What the heck!!?? Why is the hive doing this? What am I supposed to do with them lol!! I read somewhere that that area may be prone to swarms again but that soon? With the same group? At least they looked the same. They hung around a different grape vine this time. ( I have 3) I think they went off on their on this time but what do I do in the future? should I get an actual bee box?
4. Also looking for any learning info. Thx 🙂April 10, 2014 at 10:06 pm #8308
#1: Not sure what happened there, but it doesn’t appear to have mattered much.
#2: The hive in the box is probably a bit crowded so it is throwing off swarms. The first swarm was the old queen leaving with a large portion of the hive. The second swarm was her replacement leaving with a smaller portion of the hive. This will continue until the hive is no longer crowded and has a queen that stays, or until they run out of queens and the hive dies. Also, you are paying too much for swarm removal, it should be half that rate.
#3: See #2, this is a natural phenomenon, it’s reproductive swarming and totally to be expected.
#4: If you are interested in becoming a beekeeper there is a ton of free information online, but understand that being a beekeeper is a responsibility greater than having a hobby, you are responsible for stinging insects. You may love bees but they may not love you back if you neglect them. Seek out classes and information online if you are interested in becoming a beekeeper!
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