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Feral Bee Hives

Feral hive experience from Ron Bogansky on BEE-L

I have heard about his but never saw one. I received a call last week from a homeowner stating he had a beehive in his tree. I assumed he was talking about a hollow tree. He said they were 20 ft off the ground hanging from a branch. At this point I thought wasps. I told him that it was probably a wasp or hornet nest. He disagreed saying they were confirmed by someone else to be honeybees. My curiosity got the best of me so I went over. Sure enough, there was a large colony hanging from a branch of a spruce tree. He told me they showed up in June, but now he was worried about them. I climbed up the tree part way and took some photos. I told him there wasn’t much I could do now (November). The branches of the tree seem to be protecting them somewhat and possibly they may survive the winter. I know disrupting them would probably be just as harmful. I told him he should have called sooner. He then hinted to something I still find humorous. He said he was curious as to how much the bees were worth (to him?). I was about to explain the benefits of having bees around, but somehow I think he was just thinking dollars.

I know this happens occasionally, but I have never witnessed it before. I don’t know what could have made the bees stay at this location rather than finding a more suitable home. They never cease to amaze me.

Ron Bogansky
Kutztown, (eastern) PA, USA
bogansrj@apci.com