The other day while cleaning up after a garage sale, my husband informed me that we had what looked to be a colony of bees swarming around the lilac bush on our patio. I am not a “nature girl” under the best of circumstances. I don’t mind observing nature- from a nice, safe, enclosed distance. But the thought of nature up close and personal is just not my thing.
So learning that we might have a colony of bees taking up residence fifteen feet outside my back door was not something that made me happy. Of course, in my mind these were bound to be Killer Bees since those would be even worse.
Fortunately, my hubby is “Jungle Jim” to my “Scaredy-cat Shelley” (funny how opposites attract that way). He’s been known to teach class with snakes draped around his neck and he never met a critter that he was afraid of (as long as we don’t confuse fear with a lack of respect!).
He said that the prudent course of action was to simply wait a day or two and see what happened with the bees. Apparently, bee hives split when they get too big (who knew?) and this might simply be a new bee colony looking for a place to build their hive. However, they were unlikely to build the hive in my lilac bush because they like places that are enclosed and protected. It seems they’d be much more likely to build their hive in our attic, barn, or other outbuilding (none of which made me any happier, by the way).
Jungle Jim also said that it was also a possibility that the bees were simply migrating through looking for a new home with a good food supply close by and that we probably didn’t have enough plant life around to keep them properly fed (my fingers are CROSSED upon hearing that!). You may be able to tell that I am not keen on the idea of having a colony of bees – killer or not – close by.
A few interesting facts about bees:
- if a female worker bee uses her stinger she’ll die
- male drone bees don’t have a stinger
- the queen bee lays about 1500 eggs a day – every day!
- bees are the only insects that make a food that humans eat
- honey contains natural preservatives and honey found in the Egyptian tombs was still edible
- a beehive may contain between 50,000-80,000 bees
We were fortunate that we didn’t have to resort to any removal method to get rid of the bees but the following link walks you through the steps to take should you need to rid yourself of any bees that are presenting safety concerns to you and your family. Do keep in mind, though, that bees – while given a bad rap – are critical to our ecosystem. If there’s a beekeeper in your vicinity I’d suggest you contact him/her first so that the bees can be captured and relocated. Just my little plug for those of us tree huggers (not literally – but I like to LOOK at trees from a distance).
To get rid of bees naturally
In our case, it seems that we’ve got a tree with a partly hollowed-out trunk. Sure enough, we’ve got bees living there and have had for a while. So far we’ve coexisted peacefully. And as long as they don’t bother us, we’re not going to bother them.
[bctt tweet=”You may have a swarm of bees on your property and not even be aware of them.” username=”@sasmerchant”]
Be sure to check out this post for some advice about snakes.