Tagged: Attracting bees
April 16, 2014 at 10:47 am #8350
The hive in my neighbors structure was removed recently. There are not many bees in my garden now but my citrus and avocado trees are attracting a few.
I would love to have a hive in the backyard but only want the native bees – the ones that are already feeding off the bounty in my yard, no hostile rowdy bees need apply.
Am I best off to get a hive and learn how to use attractant to draw a homeless Mom and her workers to relocate here? What are the chances of that happening and how long do you think it would take. It’s spring 2014 in a warm southern California Hollywood Hillside neighborhood. I miss the bees. Would be cool to have our own honey supply as well.
Oh, and what are the chances they will gang up on my two little dogs?April 16, 2014 at 4:07 pm #8352
There are couple misconceptions you’re having with bees, other than your love of seeing them around. First, “native” bees aren’t honey bees, and local bees aren’t native. We call them “feral” bees, and they can vary in temperament from super nice to hostile. There is little way to tell temperament before having a hive of them, but 80% of the colonies I run into are relatively easy to work with. I recommend you don’t bother trying to keep bees if you aren’t interested in becoming a beekeeper- that is, learning about bees and how to handle them, buying protective gear and being able to manage a beehive in a seasonal manner.
We estimate there are 2-9 feral hives per square mile anywhere in Los Angeles, and they forage for up to 2 square miles. I’m sure your local bees will help pollinate your garden without having to go through the investment in time and money.
Hope this helps!April 16, 2014 at 4:27 pm #8353
If you want to attract bee’s you need to buy a bee suit at first.Bee’s love the scent of bee comb.How i caught some feral bee’s was=I had a hive standing outside that had frames with comb built from earlier bee’s.Well the bee’s just came .At first i thought they were robber bee’s taking leftover honey i had left in the comb.There wasn’t much honey.Well i went and took off the lid and i saw a small cluster of bee’s on comb they had built.Lemon grass oil also works sometimes.Well now they are a growing hive.
Hope i helped you any.
P.S. you can buy buy a bee suit on mannlakeltd.com .There are others you can find on google.if you just write bee suit for sale in the search box.
April 19, 2014 at 5:31 pm #8367
- This reply was modified 3 years ago by elisha browns.
hello, i have just purchased my first beehive (and accessory equipment). i live in redondo beach and am also debating whether i should buy my bees or wait and see if they will come on their own. the frames that came with my hive already have the foundation included in them, which is apparently coated with beeswax. would this be sufficient to attract the bees or should i rub honey or some other substance on the foundations to expedite the process??
MichelleApril 22, 2014 at 5:05 pm #8392
I’m jumping on this topic because I think it’s relevant to Attract or Not Attract and is a good follow to Michelle’s post.
We set up our box last week, on Thursday. Our frames have no foundation and we put in the wood sticks and painted bees wax on them. We also put in fresh cut lemongrass, but since that didn’t attract any bees in the first two days, we put in a small vile of lemongrass oil that we purchased at the recommended bee shop in Downtown LA.
Now it’s been 5 days and we have no bee action around our hive. Nothing. Nada.
What should we do to attract them? Turn the box opening away from the fence? Should we put in more lemongrass oil? Should we capture some bees from our front yard and hope they are the homeless ones? We have lots of bees in the front yard due to our native wild flowers.
Please help! I’d love to know what and how long it takes for bees to smell the new home.
April 22, 2014 at 6:40 pm #8394
- This reply was modified 3 years ago by Enci Box.
I’m just 15 years old and i’m not a pro at this but i’ll share on what i know and have experienced.
When you put lemon grass into a hive it takes about 1 to 2 weeks for the bee’s to scout it out and tell their colony that its a good place for a home.
Maybe in 3 weeks you will get something.This process doesn’t always work but most of the time it does.
Before the bee’s move in to the box they scout there surroundings.If they don’t move in its probably because of the surroundings.Put the [swarm lure] hive box as high as you can because its easier for the bee’s to scent it then.
DON’T PUT HONEY IN TO THE LURE BOX BECAUSE THE FERAL BEE’S AROUND YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD WILL COME AND STEAL IT AWAY.
Just have patience and try to forget about the lure box for three weeks.When three weeks pass don’t open it just look if bee’s are entering it.If there are dont open it for another 3 weeks to make sure the bee’s arent just camping and to not disturb them because they may fly away.
It will be more efficient if you put more lure boxes out on different spots of your yard.The roof is a good spot for a lure box.Just put lemongrass into the hive.
I dont know how your putting lemongrass into the hive but i put it this way.
I get a small sandwitch bag that closes up, a piece of towel paper, lemongrass, and scissors.Get the towel fold it into a small square and put 14 drops of lemongrass on it .Then put it into the sandwitch bag that closes up on the top.Next close th bag and cut off one of the corners of the bag but not to big so that the scent of the lemongrass can come out..There thats all you have to do. Just put it into the hive and close up the hive.Anymore question’s just post them on here and i’ll try my best on answering them.
ElishaApril 22, 2014 at 9:03 pm #8395
Thank you for your reply. I have read in several places that using honeycomb is a good attractant for luring a new swarm; though I will take your advice into consideration as well.
I have recently purchased a “magical” product from a beekeeper up in northern California who claims that her potion is the best on the market. We will see …
Thank you again for your help.
MichelleApril 22, 2014 at 10:49 pm #8396
Thank you Elisha for the wonderful reply! Very much appreciate it! And thank you Michelle for the link. It was a great read!
Another question following your reply Elisha. I don’t have a bait or swarm box. I only have a medium size hive box with the frames in it. The box is about 3 feet off the ground, facing the fence.
Should I place the box higher? Should I place the box with the entrance facing out, so they can scent it better? If so, is it okay for me to turn the box, once the bees move in? Won’t that confuse the bees?April 23, 2014 at 9:29 am #8399
What i mean by a swarm box is just a medium or large hive with frames in it.
It would be better to put the box higher.When the bee’s move in its better to not move the entrance because the bee’s will be confused.You can move the hive little by little so that it wont affect the bee’s and wont confuse them.
It will be better if you put some honeycomb inside the box if you have any.
It is my pleasure to help.If you have questions dont be afraid to ask.
ElishaMay 7, 2014 at 12:46 am #8478
Three weeks after we put out the box, we had a few bees visit our box. They were coming in and out and it seems that they were cleaning out the box from the lemongrass cuttings. There are a few of lemongrass cuttings tossed out of the box and a lot of the lemongrass inside the box has been moved towards the entrance.
Out of curiosity, I opened the top of the box, to see what is happening inside and we saw lots of bees (maybe 10 or more). Three days after I opened the box, there are no more bees in sight. 🙁
What does this mean? Should I have not opened the box? Did I disturb them? Will they come back? I’m so disappointed! This past weekend I dreamt of the big swarm moving in, but it was only a dream unfortunately. 🙁
Thank you for the advice in advance!
EnciMay 7, 2014 at 4:28 pm #8483
If there were bee’s inside thats good news.I didnt know you use lemongrass cuttings.Well that works i guess.You shouldnt have opened it because now they will know there is a predator.When you saw bee’s going in and out thats when they were probably preparing the box for the moving in family.
You probably have to move the hive like 1 foot if you can.So that they will think its another home otherwise if cant just put some fresh cuttings and not open the box until you see bee’s bringing in pollen.You will see bee’s and little balls of bright stuff on their feet.If you see bee’s that are carrying pollen in that means there is a family inside.Usually a fammily of bee’s has at least 1000 bee’s even more.The bee’s that went into your box were scouts and that is good news.That means there is a family willing to move in.Be patient and keep watching for bee’s.Let me know when there are bee’s there and i will tell you what to do next after they move in.
ElishaMay 7, 2014 at 11:40 pm #8485
Elisha, thank you so much for your reply! I feel better knowing that you are “holding” my hand in this new adventure!
I moved the box about a foot and I’m not going to touch it until you say so! 🙂 Will keep you updated about the progress of the bees moving in. Crossing finger, toes and eyes! 🙂
EnciJuly 1, 2014 at 1:40 pm #8738
We finally have lots of bees in our hive. Woohoo! Very exciting! But I only see a few with pollen on their legs. What does this mean? Can I open the box and peek inside to see if I should put up the second box over the bottom box? There has been a lot of activity since around beginning of June or even earlier. But I’m noticing a lot more bees now and they are crowding the entrance. All those that are crowding the entrance are void of any pollen on their legs. But I see once in a while some bees fly in with pollen.
Thank you in advance for your help!
Happy July 1st!
EnciJuly 1, 2014 at 11:23 pm #8739
Aren’t there always swarms for adoptions you could have gotten? Also just curious, how are they behaving towards you?July 2, 2014 at 12:15 am #8740
Congratulations on your success here, Enci, with wonderful help from Elisha! If I were you, I’d consider posting your story under a new title, something like “Baited hive-next steps” to get additional advice on what to do next from some of the other wonderful mentors on this forum. This is a subject I would like to know more about, too!
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