I have bees.

I was sitting at the table this afternoon working, had the window wide open to enjoy the breeze, and kept seeing a bee. Or bees. Nothing agianst them personally, but I can’t tell one individual from another.

Figured hey, it’s spring, there’re gonna be bees.

Couple weekends ago, wife was transferring the woodpile from the patio to behind the shed for the summer, and said she stirred up a bunch of flying somethings back there. She said they were on the ground, so I was afraid we had yellowjackets, but upon investigation I couldn’t find anything.

We have found honeycombs in limbs that have fallen and in an elm tree that was removed by the city for water line work. I figured that the ones she ran across might have been the beginning of a hive that was starting in a hollow log or something we had behind the shed.

Well, at dinner I kept seeing bees. More bees. A dozen or two.

Shit, thought I, I know EXACTLY what’s happening.

Last fall I removed the light from the back of the house, and since the wires were no longer connected to anything and the box was pretty tight and flush to the back of the siding, I left it. I have to patch up some other shakes, so I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal until I got to around to them all.

Well, guess what…the bees apparently love it. I’m guessing they found a knockout or other gap in the box, and are preparing a hive in my garage well.

Look, I went for the spray…but I really do not want to just kill off a hive of honeybees, especially since there must be a queen in there somewhere. I think there are people who will come remove a hive, but who knows what that will cost.

I have no problem opening up my garage wall, I’m tearing it out before winter anyway, in order to insulate. I do want them out before they decide my attic is hospitable, though.

Any recommendations aside from nuking from orbit and killing a colony, and paying someone who knows how much to cart them of to a hive? I went for a piece of scrap wood and my driver to just plop it over the hole to discourage them, but then I wondered if the queen would get trapped in there and die?


Find a bee-keeper - talk is free, and I’m betting they won’t charge you to remove the bees, because they’re keeners.

Glad I decided against the spray!!

I’m glad anyway, but apparently that would be a big no-no.

ETA Ok, never trust the first link. Apparently you can kill bees, but you CAN’T nuke them from orbit.

A long, long time ago in my city there were few people around who would take wasp/yellow jacket nests for free. IIRC, they took them for free because they used them to make anti-[whatever they sting you with] meds.
You could try making a few calls and see if anyone takes them for free. You might try your local college extension as well.
If they’re actually honey bees, I’d look up Honey Bee farms nearby and call one of them. It wouldn’t surprise me if they’d happily take them off your hands.

Is suburban beekeeping a thing?

How far away from the hive is considered a ‘danger zone’ where you’re likely to get stung?

We have lots of clover and stuff in the yard, so seeing bees isn’t uncommon. None of the kids is allergic to bees that we know of, and we have an Epi-Pen on hand.

ETA: I’ll be damned. If I was feeling more researchy and less chatty, I would have found this great article first.

Considering. Could contacts listed there that can probably give me some great advice.

Here’s something that eats bees.

I predict that you will next see something that eats oil beetles.

Nuh uh…do they really?

Google “Honey-B-Gone.” I’ve used it, and it works.

Ok, this actually may be GOOD news.

If I understand it right, oil beetles mimic the pheromones of females bees.

I just found an oil beetle on the steps to my basement, directly below where the bees were buzzing on the outside.

Best case scenario, those were male bees looking for a female bee, and what they actually found was some beetles.

It occurred to me, when I was telling my wife that we PROBABLY only have beetles…that they got here somehow. Like, brought here by a bee.

Damn…which means they may have been here for a bit.

When I had a bee swarm in my yard, I called a beekeeper. He was happy to come collect the swarm and take it away. He did not charge me anything and in fact left me a jar of honey in payment for the bees.

We live in a brick house, and a number of years ago there were hornets swarming around the front, near an upstairs window. I discovered that they had built a nest inside the brick wall, through a small hole where a bit or mortar had come loose. So I plugged up the hole with a bit of putty. For days, hornets were swarming where the hole had been, trying to find a way in. I don’t know what was happening inside the nest, but I imagine it wasn’t pretty.

Are they bumblebees? Could I get five bees for a quarter? How do you like the onion on my belt?

“Bee tail, Jerry. I said I was looking for some ‘bee tail’.”

Yes. Urban beekeeping is too. Although often regulated.

The local USDA extension office can help with finding beekeepers who can remove hives, often for free (we’ve never charged), although cleanup is on you. They can also point to local laws/regs.