Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Brand new to the forum and to caring much about bees (beyond the general knowledge that we need them). I had a swarm set up in my front yard last week and quickly called a local beekeeper to collect them (including the queen). They were only there for 4 hours or so before I figured out that the buzzing was bees and not a remote-controlled drone and thus they hadn't gotten around to building any structures.

Today, 6 days later, we still have a few dozen bees congregating at two very specific points on the tree. I assume, based on my conversation with the bee keeper, that this is due to remnant queen bee pheromone.

My wife, who is not particularly fond of anything that makes any buzzing noise, refuses to exit through the front door of our house until all the bees are gone.

How long should we expect the pheromone to endure and for the bees to stick around?

PS - I've been intensely interested in bee keeping since the swarm and can definitely see why some people make a hobby/career out of it. It's both simple and complex. It produces one of the best edibles on known to man and is great for the environment. It's too bad about the wife's anti-buzz nature.
 

·
Super Moderator
Santa Cruz, CA
Joined
·
1,154 Posts
Hey welcome! And thank you for being a friend to the bees.

Yes, it is entirely normal for there to be some lingering bees where the swarm was From what I can gather, for two reasons.

1 - That the bees settled on this spot and oriented themselves to that area. Since all the bees were taken these were likely the bees out scouting for a new home - only to return and nobody is there. They should fly off to the original colony or sadly just die off.

2 - Yes, there is pheromone left there from the queen. I once caged a queen from a swarm and set her on my patio while I went inside to find a marking pen (we sometimes put a water based paint on our queens to keep track of them). When I came out there were hundreds of bees on her. After moving her back into a hive with the rest of the bees they were still congregating on the table I set her on!

However, 6 days is a long time to have bees still visiting the same site. Maybe 3 days is the max I've seen. Are they hanging around on a branch or area where the swarm was, or just flying around that area?

You might try spraying the area with vinegar then hosing it down really well. That should get rid of any lingering smells. It's common for swarms to land in the same spot multiple times since it smells like a good spot to hang out while they look for another home.

Hope that helps.

And you should look into getting bees. They aren't ANYTHING like people think they are and I'm sure your wife could even come around to seeing them as friends, instead of scary foe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Are they hanging around on a branch or area where the swarm was, or just flying around that area?
They're hanging on the exact spot that they had originally congregated. It looked something like this but larger:

62795


Now there are about 2 dozen sitting on that spot on the branch another dozen plus on a leaf closer to the ground and another dozen or so flying around.

I'll try some vinegar tomorrow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,675 Posts
I think it can last for quite some time, assuming no rain or other action to counter it. I had some queens 'banked' one year, and at the end of the season I discovered that I had forgotten an unused queen. She was long dead in her cage, with a pitiful few bees left clinging to the cage.

My wife has become accustomed to the bees flying around the porch, and even in the house. It didn't hurt that she went with me to the classes to learn about them before we started keeping them. We have two garden areas at the front porch that attract bees, lilacs and and other blooming stuff. They also get attracted to stuff on the porch, and it is not uncommon for me to go in the house after doing bee stuff and find that I have a few hitchhikers when they start flying around the lights.

There were a couple of years when I actually had a full hive right on the porch, just a few feet from the grill. It made grilling at night interesting until it finally occurred to me to drape a blanket over the hive so that they wouldn't see the light.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top