Currently viewing the category: "Honey Bees"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bush Bees – Colorado
I live in the Denver, CO area and I have a bush in my front yard that has hundreds of bees hovering around it constantly. Is this because the bush and it’s small flowers are particularly appealing to bees ? Or … is there possibly a ground hive of some sort underneath the bush ? I have looked inside the bush and there is no above ground hive that I can see. I have 2 small children which play in the yard frequently. While I know bees aren’t aggressive there’s a good chance they’ll get stung accidentally because of the sheer quantity. How can I locate the burrow (if there is one) and how would I get them to leave without carnage ? Granite over the burrow as with a previous post? Thank you for your help

These are Honey Bees, most likely domestic bees from a nearby apiarist’s hives. Honey Bees will travel great distances to a likely food source, and that is probably the case here. Honey Bees do not nest underground, and wild hives are generally found in hollow trees and in little used areas of buildings, like crawl spaces. While we understand your fear of your young children being stung, you would be far better served to properly educate them that the Honey Bees are not aggressive, and they will not sting unless provoked. Here at What’s That Bug? we do not really feel qualified to give parenting advice, but we believe if you teach your children not to touch the Honey Bees or bother them, it will better protect your children in the future and they can avoid being stung when not under your immediate watchful eye.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

photo 10 – honey on the leg?
Sending you some photos you may want to use for your web site. I am always taking photos of bugs and other things. I sent you some a couple years ago and so here you are some more. I know some of them but not all of them. Enjoy….. Photo taken in Sawyer, Choctaw County, Oklahoma… Thanks,
JoLynn Mangum

Hi Jolynn,
Just posting your ten wonderful photos would have taken us hours at the expense of all the other wonderful images and letters we have in our mailbox. So, we have chosen this very sweet photo of a Honey Bee and want to comment on your title “honey on the leg?” Honey Bees injest nectar and their digestive enzymes produce the honey. Pollen is gathered on the legs and used by the bees for other purposes. Interestingly, while at the theater this weekend to see the awesome movie “Son of Rambow” we were treated to the trivia that honey is the only known food that does not spoil. 3000 year old honey found in Egyptian tombs is still edible.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Imagine our glee when while we were gardening today, we noticed this swarm of Honey Bees that had taken up residence in our juniper bush. Many of our friends know that for ages we have been saying we wanted a bee hive, but sadly, in the city of Los Angeles, bee hives must be over 100 feet from the nearest structure. Such a law makes us want to be civilly disobedient. We don’t know where this wild swarm came from. Elyria Canyon perhaps, but we spoke to the bees at length, telling them how much we wanted them to stay and how much they would enjoy all the citrus we are planting. We also told the bees that we knew how awful it was to move, and how difficult to find a place that was nice. We assured the bees that our yard was nice. It is pesticide free. We would never freak out because the bees had moved in, unlike so many other people might. We also sympathized with the whole Colony Collapse Disorder. We suspect the bees hate getting shipped from state to state to pollinate orchards, and they would much rather stay in one place. We also suspect that people no longer “Tell The Bees” and the bees want to know. We told the bees that we might try to get some type of hive for them, but we don’t think we can do it soon. We know the juniper shrub is just a temporary layover. It was comforting talking to the bees. We told the bees secrets we tell no one.

Sadly, we didn’t convince the bees to stay. Minutes after we finished typing, and moments before we were going to upload, the bees took off in a swirling tornadolike swarm, only to disappear to parts unknown. For several hours, stray bees continued to search for the now missing swarm. Guess the Queen Bee doesn’t wait for stragglers.

Comment: (03/27/2008) Your honeybee swarm…
I am sorry the bees only came to visit and not stay. (Swarms usually just hang out til the scout bees find them a nice place to live like a hollow tree). They do make decorative hives that hold bees maybe your neighbors would think it was just a decoration. You won’t get honey from it, but you’ll have happy little pollinators in your yard! I say go for the civil disobedience! (Or work with your city or county to change the rules!) Have a great day! And happy spring!
Interpretive Naturalist

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

honey bee on the verge of retirement?
My nest question is more in regards to behavior than species. This is a picture I took in my backyard in Eugene, Oregon of what I assume is just your garden-variety honey-bee. They’re crazy for all the lavender we have and, though we have a bee-sting sensitive daughter, we’re happy to have them as only the ornery wasps on our porch have ever stung her.. But I digress.. If you notice, this bees wings look positively torn up and ragged and she was flying around a bit more sluggishly than the rest. Do the worker honeybees literally just gather nectar and pollen until their wings fall apart or do they die of old age before that? Seems like kind of a drag to be a bee whose wings have crapped out. You’d think they’d get a nice cushy retirement in the hive or something.. These girls need to unionize..

Hi Brian,
According to Ross E. Koning’s amusing Biology of the Honeybee site: Worker Bees live “20-40 days summer (worked to death) 140 days winter “. All that gathering does take its toll.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Are these honey bees?
Hi, Bugman!
I found these in the root of a tree in my back yard. They look to me like plain honey bees, but I’m told they wouldn’t nest underground. Best Regards,
Russell G. Richter

Hi Russell,
Honey Bees that have naturalized or gone wild and are not being kept in hives need to nest somewhere. Hollow trees are common locations as are crawl spaces and attics in homes. Your bees might be unually resourseful and have taken up home in the only place they could find, the hollowed root system of an old tree. For more information on Honey Bees, check out the Bees and Beekeeping site.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination