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Old 06-04-2019, 01:21 AM
Saffer is online now
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What is this writhing mass of insects in my tree?


I found this yesterday.

https://ibb.co/Tc9Tb2g

Image is taken from a 2nd floor window and had to be digitally zoomed, so the quality isn't great.

It is a disc shaped mass of flying insects, with a diameter of approximately 15cm.
My first thought was a bee hive, but it doesn't look anything like the bee hives I've seen on those Winnie the pooh documentaries.

2nd question: should I call pest control, or leave it be?
  #2  
Old 06-04-2019, 01:32 AM
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Looks like a honeybee swarm. It will disperse soon if it hasn't already.
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Old 06-04-2019, 02:34 AM
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I took another shot from a different angle.

https://ibb.co/ZY5y5mm

Looks like it's intended to be permanent. I think I might leave it and only if someone gets stung, then call pest control.
  #4  
Old 06-04-2019, 02:54 AM
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Honey bees. Call a bee farmer. They will gladly take it.
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Old 06-04-2019, 03:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Beckdawrek View Post
Honey bees. Call a bee farmer. They will gladly take it.
This turned out to be good advice. I found a bee keepers association that will do free relocation.
However, they don't do it in the summer so I will have to wait a bit. No harm done so far so I don't mind.
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Old 06-04-2019, 05:45 AM
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Do I see wax comb in the second photo? It's less common to set up exposed in the open like that but it does happen. In that case you have an actual hive, no longer a swarm. Still relatively easy to remove. Although with a swarm we literally just hand-scoop then into a box.

Depending on how widespread membership is in that association, there may still be folks around and available. But finding them can be tricky. In the US I'd say contact your local USDA extension office. If you've got any local message boards, Facebook, etc., it may be worth fishing about.
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:11 AM
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I second the ask around suggestion- I've collected one swarm posted about on Facebook and arranged the collection of another. That doesn't look like a very big swarm to me, it looks like quite a bit of comb and not too many bees.
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Old 06-05-2019, 08:46 AM
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Weirdly, over the last 24 hours, I've become slightly fond of these critters.
Would it be a bad idea for me to leave out a bowl of sweet stuff for them, to ensure they survive long enough (until the end of summer) for the bee keepers to relocate them?

If I were to do so, what would be the best concoction? Just sugar and water seems a bit devoid of micro-nutrients. Maybe muscovado would be better.
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Old 06-05-2019, 10:03 AM
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All they need is flowers within a mile or so.
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Old 06-05-2019, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saffer View Post
Weirdly, over the last 24 hours, I've become slightly fond of these critters.
Would it be a bad idea for me to leave out a bowl of sweet stuff for them, to ensure they survive long enough (until the end of summer) for the bee keepers to relocate them?

If I were to do so, what would be the best concoction? Just sugar and water seems a bit devoid of micro-nutrients. Maybe muscovado would be better.
I'm just guessing but I think they like honey.
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Old 06-05-2019, 11:58 AM
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Maybe your new friends will give you some honey.
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Old 06-05-2019, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Saffer View Post
Would it be a bad idea for me to leave out a bowl of sweet stuff for them, to ensure they survive long enough (until the end of summer) for the bee keepers to relocate them?
This was the first hit when I googled feeding honeybees. Seems like plain sugar water is fine, but not necessarily necessary.
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Old 06-05-2019, 02:40 PM
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If feeding honeybees, always use white sugar- brown or muscavado can give them dysentery.

I wouldn't though, leaving stuff like that out in the open is a good way of getting problems, like attracting other bees which then start robbing the little colony.
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Old 06-05-2019, 03:07 PM
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Yeah, look around to see what wildflowers, shrubs etc. you have in blossom, and maybe plant some flower seedlings to provide some extra supply, but no need to give them pre-processed stuff.
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Old 06-05-2019, 06:09 PM
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Weirdly, over the last 24 hours, I've become slightly fond of these critters.
Are those sweet, little, black Italian bees? They are nice and unlikely to sting, is what I've heard. They never sting me. They are like pets.
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Old 06-05-2019, 07:33 PM
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Down here in the southland we call 'em good-news bees. If they hang around you're likely to get good news. According to local woo and my ol' Granny.
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Old 06-06-2019, 05:08 AM
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If anything important happens in the family, a birth, a death, a marriage, etc. Be sure to go out there and tell them. If you don't, they'll get offended and leave the property.

;-)
  #18  
Old 06-06-2019, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Beckdawrek View Post
Maybe your new friends will give you some honey.
Lord knows that's what I'm hoping for.
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