Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
145 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a problem. Actually too much of a good thing. Over the weekend I hived my second swarm. Today at work I get a frantic call from my mother to "come home right now!" I come home to my hysteral neighbor screaming about she and her little boy were getting attacked by bees and she was calling the police. She's the neighbor witht the swarm up at the top of a 75ft tree I was trying to bait down before the two days of rain and freezing last night. Her driveway is littered in dead bees from that swarm, but is looked up and it was still there.

I was puzzled until I got out of her to go to the pool area. Underneath of the dining table was a huge swarm of bees. Evidently another neighbor had noticed a big cloud of bees buzzing above her pool. I get her calmed down and tell her that they weren't my bees ( they really weren't). And that the police were only going to call a beekeeper to remove them so I volunteered to get them. My mom took the neighbor and her little boy to lunch while I captured the swarm. It was big enough for a double medium. Bees gone. Neighbor comes back later screaming their back. I look over and I still have the original swarm. It seems the tree swarm came down and took up residence where the old one was. I've now hive it in a double deep nuc.

My problem (and I can see the eyes rolling out there). I've now captured three large swarms within a week. I would have sworn before that I was the only beekeeper around in this suburban neighborhood. It's an old neighborhood with old trees and it's possible these are wild, but I've never seen swarms here before. Don't know. If my bees are attracting them or not. I've tried to reassure my neighbor these swarms are not mine. I would be happy to remove them for free. But she's pregnant and has a three year old. The bees are scaring her. I'm afraid she's either going to call the police, or an exterminator to spray (which might get my hives since I'm next door). Any advice?

And any advice on what to do with 4 swarms? I already have 4 hives. I'm now up to eight. Too many for a half acre lot. Not to mention I am completely out of hive bodies except my shallows. I'd like to keep them but how to do advertise for a local place to keep bees? If 4 hives were a lot, 8 hives is freaking my neighbor. I have told her I'm working on a plan to move the feral hives. Any advice for too much of a good thing? I've ordered more hive bodies, bit if another swarm comes, I really don't know what to do with it until the new hive bodies get here and are assembled.

Suburban help needed please.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,273 Posts
Well, bees are eminently saleable. :) Selling some bees will pay for new boxes!

It doesn't matter that you may have recently hived some of these, someone will pay for them. Craigslist is a click away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Knowing my neighbors I understand her concern. One Arfican bee special on Discovery can ruin a neighborhood. I wish I was closer than Massachusetts, I'd take them. I agree with Sidetrack - Craigslist is the way to go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,604 Posts
In the short term you could combine the 4 swarms into 2. Keep 2 of the queens that seem to be the best, pinch the other 2, and after 24 hours do a newspaper combine. Doesn't solve the problem completely, but cuts it in half right away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,100 Posts
MsBee, don't even advertise. There are two guys in bham who would love to get some bees. Would you object if I have them contact you?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,472 Posts
Yes.

Under the circumstances I think you should reduce the hives on your property to two. Sell the rest at a good price and if possible find somewhere nearby to keep some if you need more than two.

Unfortunately a small % of people, when babies come along can turn hysterical over it and be the worst kind of neighbour for a beekeeper, they can see it as a life & death struggle between their babies and the bees and will not be reasoned with. A kind of malfunctioning of the protective mothering instinct. If the baby ever actually did get stung it would be like the heavens had fallen, you would be worse than an axe murderer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
463 Posts
Old timer and Gillmore both have good points. Your comfort of finding queens, etc would steer the decision. Beekeeping is a little bit like laying tile. You want to have more tile on hand than the job requires. You'll never have enough extra comb or bee boxes for moments like these.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
145 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I thought of Craigslist but I hear too many horror stories for my to advertise my address. Plus, I have no idea if I got the queens. The first swarm is now laying eggs, but these three I have no clue. With being out in the rain and cold for three days, they were NOT happy campers. I really want to see if I can farm them out on another property and keep the hives, but I'm not sure if I have the time. If I sell them, they're on brand new nucs frames and foundation. Without a queen guarantee, is it wrong to at the least price them for the cost of the new equipment. Or trade them new frames for these frames and they provide the nuc?

May advertise them on Jeff county bee keeper assoc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
124 Posts
I have room to keep them for a bit, and empty deeps if you need it. Been working on my bee yard, the hive stands need to be leveled thou. I have swarm traps spread out in 3 counties and hope to be in your condition soon.
mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,569 Posts
Great story,,,:lpf: Just because you think you are the only beekeeper in the area, you may not be. Also, what makes you so sure that 0 are not from your hives? If you want to keep them I would start with friends, family, & "other neighbors" :D that live fairly close by. In my experience, since I have been a beekeeper people have always been interested in buying bees or show interest in me keeping bees on their land (I keep a list, if I am not ready to commit). One could also choose Craigslist, (but you do not have to meet at your address if selling). I have also seen ads from people wanting a beekeeper to put hives on their property, as well as beekeepers looking to put hives on homeowners property.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,050 Posts
You got great advice so far for dealing with the bees. Here are my 2 cents about dealing with the neighbor. Tell her her property is so awesome (try not to laugh) that the bees are picking her property over all the neighbors'. To ensure her and her kid's safety you're suggesting to put a swarm trap for her. Spin it as you're doing her a favor. Bottom line is she's likely to keep getting swarms if she already had 2 and you don't want her to keep blaming you for that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,260 Posts
Make an offer on the table she has at the pool, sounds like a bee magnet! LOL

Good advice from all of the above folks, I would sell them outright. If you are worried about if you have the queen or not, give them a week and go looking for eggs or brood. You do not always have to see the queen to know she is there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
638 Posts
You could try a Bee Assoc in the area and place some hives in their yard. Our Assoc gives a liftime membership for donated hives. Or you could contact a local college that has an agriculture program and ask if they need one or two and donate them. Like you, I'm not a big Craigslist fan so thats not an option for me either.
As for the neighbor (me rolling my eyes) we all have them. and no matter what....the first time she gets stung (most likely by a wasp!) she's gonna blame you. It's that yearly gift of honey that keeps them at bay. Cant hardly accept a jar or two of fresh raw honey and complain in the next breath. Equipment, always behind, always building. We're kinda like bees in that respect!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts
I have never in my life seen a swarm. I wish I had this problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
You are probably correct that your hives are attracting swarms. If you can try to keep your hives out of sight you can most likely keep more than 8 hives. Out of sight can be hidden in plain sight. Don't paint your boxes bright colors for one. I don't paint my boxes at all, they can be seen from the road, but they are in front of a shed with similarly weathered boards and you wouldn't notice them unless you were looking for them. A small board fence is one way to go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
I wish I were closer to Birmingham. I've had swarm traps out but no takers. Regardless of the swarm situation, you can often molify your neighbors with an occasional gift of honey. It has value, plus is mostly better than store-bought honey from unknown sources.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top