Currently viewing the category: "Honey Bees"
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!
Liz
Interpretive Naturalist

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

honey bee on the verge of retirement?
Daniel,
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..
Brian

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