Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX, USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Bee swarm in my peach tree

    Hello all,

    New member, first post.

    I am a homeowner living in Houston, Texas on an average sized single family residential lot. Last Friday I was checking my peach tree for buds and found a softball sized clump of bees hanging out in the lower branches. I am very intrigued by these bees. My family and all the neighbors think itís pretty neat and no one has any problem with me just letting them be. Iíve been thinking maybe I should try and get them to move into a more appropriate area. Maybe I could make a box for them or something like that. I donít mind keeping them as long as itís not too much work (I wouldnít have time to tend them daily). I definitely like that they are here and maybe my peach tree will finally yield more than a single peach (so far the record is 3). At the same time Iím a little nervous since I have no idea where they came from or if any are Africanized. They donít seem aggressive and arenít bothered by me standing 3-4 feet away.

    any advice is appreciated - Tom

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Westford, MA
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Bee swarm in my peach tree

    Quote Originally Posted by tomwhatley View Post
    Hello all,

    New member, first post.

    I am a homeowner living in Houston, Texas on an average sized single family residential lot. Last Friday I was checking my peach tree for buds and found a softball sized clump of bees hanging out in the lower branches.

    Tom
    The size of the swarm seems to be too small, so they probably are not honey bees (can you post a picture?). If they are honey bees you can put them in a box with two or three frames and foundation. Remove the frames first then keep the box below and shake them in. You will have to act fast before they leave!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX, USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Bee swarm in my peach tree

    I'll get a picture tonight if they are still there. Africanized or not I don't think I'll be shaking them down..lol. I was thinking more along the lines of "hey bees, here's a box with some kool-aid, come and get it and make a little honey." They showed up overnight so I suspect they will move on suddenly as well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX, USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Bee swarm in my peach tree

    The swarm has moved a few branches over and appears to have doubled in size:

    https://docs.google.com/open?id=0Bzt...DBmT21UMm1Bd0E
    https://docs.google.com/open?id=0Bzt...2VHcm5fZklYa2M

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brookville, PA
    Posts
    203

    Default Re: Bee swarm in my peach tree

    Those are honeybees. But if you don't know what you are doing or have the equiopment - you may want to contact a local beekeeper. Chances are they would happy to hive the swarm. As for where they came from - you either have a beekeeper locally that you don't know about or most likely - you have a feral colony living in a hollow tree or some building.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    HOUSTON, TEXAS. USA
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Bee swarm in my peach tree

    Wabash feed store on Washington and T.C. Jester has bee stuff...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Harris County, Texas
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Bee swarm in my peach tree

    Quote Originally Posted by CULTURED REDNECK View Post
    Wabash feed store /..snip../ has bee stuff
    Prepare for sticker shock, but you don't pay for shipping.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX, USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Bee swarm in my peach tree

    I forgot about wabash, thanks for the tip. Yesterday the bees left the tree twice and swarmed all around the yard but returned to the tree both times. After work last night I made a lid for a wine box, drilled a hole in the side, and set it on a bench about 4 feet away from the cluster. I put some coke in a small cup and left it inside the box. If I can at least get them settled in I won't have to worry about them swarming around the yard anymore.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Bee swarm in my peach tree

    Just shake them into box, dont need no coke. They will drown in that cup. All they need is a home, they brought all the supply's they need.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX, USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Bee swarm in my peach tree

    Well it's not a cup really. It one of those little containers they give you for salsa with your tacos. Holds an ounce of fluid, if that. I'm not really equipped to shake them into the box. I would think I shouldn't do that unless I was wearing a suit.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Bon Aqua, Tn USA
    Posts
    330

    Default Re: Bee swarm in my peach tree

    You can do it. They are mostly full of honey and not looking to sting anyone. Take your snips and cut just behind the branch where they are clustered and then trim away on the other end and place it just inside the box and give it a good downward snap and you will have done it. Watch a couple of utube catching a swarm videos and you will gain all the confidence you need. Just in case I am wrong, scrape the stingers off with a blade and water down the sting, in a few minutes the joy of having something to tell about catching a swarm will override the slight pain. You can do it.

    A good utube video on catching a swarm http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dphhdA5e1X4
    Another off of a car http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=jliuw-OWxSQ
    Last edited by Nantom670; 05-23-2012 at 08:32 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Bee swarm in my peach tree

    Nantom670 is right, they have no home or brood or honey to protect. About the only way you get stung would be to grab one by accident. You can do it, just do as posted. God Bless!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
    Posts
    189

    Default Re: Bee swarm in my peach tree

    Tom, take the coke out of the box - they don't want it or need it. If you want to offer them food, plain white sugar dissolved in water - about 50/50. Don't give it to them in a cup or bowl unless you put in a lot of floating material for them to sit on - they'll drown. If things are flowering in your area (if there's a nectar flow on), they don't need the feed.

    It might, however, help attract them into the box - in which case I would drizzle at the entrance, and inside the box on the floor. Add a small squeeze of lemon juice and rind to it to give it a scent they can find.

    But your box... is not suitable for anything else than getting them into something so you can move them. Do not expect to keep them in there. they need a proper hive. You probably have at least a movable comb law in your state, so a box that they will lock their comb into is going to get you in trouble, quite aside from the fact that it will prevent your being able to manage or inspect them.

    The advice that a swarm isn't interested in stinging is fair... as long as it's a fresh or 'wet' swarm - ie, one that has only just left their hive. By the time they've been out a day or two and definitely three, they've used up their gut stores of honey and are getting hungry and cranky. If you don't know where they came from, you don't know how long they've been out on their own, and you don't have the experience to spot behavioural clues. Once a swarm runs dry, all bets are off. I would not recommend that you shake the swarm without protection or experience.

    Tom, there's a heck of a big learning curve to keeping bees, and if you want to do it, then absolutely go for it - it is very rewarding in all sorts of ways. But starting with a swarm with no hiveware, no gear, no experience and no beekeeper alongside you is not the way to do it.

    Call a local beekeeper, get them to take this swarm away and take care of it, and then start your learning process so you can get bees down the track.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads