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waitakerebees

Bees Disturbing (nice) Neighbours

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During the summer I will occasionally look in at the apiaries around me , to see if all looks normal, I have contact details if something is really not right.

However once they take their supers off I keep well away . 

Bees can get really nasty , they know they have been robbed .

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1 hour ago, tommy dave said:

and i was remembering the downside of a beesuit clinging to skin when dripping sweat several hours in - the bees were reminding me of their presence.. I suggested to the scouts that they keep moving...

The wet beesuit look huh ? No wonder the scouts were hanging around.....

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In the photo of the hive with the blue plank, how did the little darlings remove debris off the bottom board, diseases and varroa?  All the work flying up and down, doing house duties, might well have decreased bee life

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On ‎20‎/‎04‎/‎2019 at 9:06 PM, mischief said:

Last year I definitely witnessed large amounts of bees puncturing grape skins.  You couldn't see the bunches of grapes! It was so extreme I had to harvest the whole crop.  They destroyed kgs of grapes.  This year it was not so extreme. 

Mischief, how do you know that the bees were puncturing the grapes skins if you couldn't see the grapes. 🤨

I used to manage a vineyard and each year I observed grape damage started by birds (usually silvereyes). Once the holes in the grapes were made by the birds, it was then easy access for the wasps and bees. Each year, when the grapes were ripe and the birds were trying their best to get at the fruit, I watched a feral cat 'patrol' a particular area of the vineyard, as it seemed to know the best places to score a lovely feed of silvereyes.

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There is absolutely nothing wrong with my eyesight, and I have definitely seen bees, in a dearth, puncturing grapes.  And yes, I know what a honey bee and a non punctured grape look like. 

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Thanks again to all the great responses to this thread. Really interesting tidbits! If anyone was after an update, I’ve just spent an hour or so essentially pruning the neighbours grapevine all the way back to the bare vine. It was hard not to be brutal! It was INSANE how many bees were around, they were everywhere - I was sure I was going to come across a hive, but I really think it was just the old grapes. It seemed to be about 95% bees, with the odd wasp and it seemed to me that the bees were more drawn to the green, still fairly freshly ripe grapes as opposed to the rotting ones. To be honest I feel as though the bee activity around it is going to get worse before it gets better, as whilst stripping the vine back, hundreds of grapes fell to the ground and got rather squished underfoot. Let’s hope the bees do one last good cleanup and then leave the area alone. 

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On 18/04/2019 at 3:39 PM, waitakerebees said:

b) if anyone has dealt with, or if it's possible to, direct your bees away from a certain direction? and how best to placate neighbours! 

I have also had nice neighbours who have contacted me when there is a sudden increase in the number of our bees which are flying (and pooing) over their place - no doubt when their house is in between the hive and some tree which happens to be flowering.

 

I'm not sure if it is placebo effect or not, but I have just turned the hive around slightly, and let the neighbours know, and then according to them the problem goes away.  This has happened on several occasions with 2 different neighbours.  It does seem to me that rotating the hive slightly can alter the bee flight path.

 

Funnily enough, for the first time ever, 2 days ago I also had a similar problem as you with another neighbour who had dozens of bees interested in her roof for some strange reason.  Good thing that she was fairly laid back as there were quite a few bees inside her house and back porch area too.  They weren't clustered as if swarming, and with a bit of recent rain, I can't see that they were looking for water in the gutters or anything.  They weren't interested in any other house/roof in our neighbourhood.  But they were definitely flying/hovering above her roof, although not really landing on it or inside the gutters.  She seemed to think that there was something blowing from her nearby Pohutukawa tree which was landing on the roof, which they liked (I don't know what Pohutukawa trees are producing at this time of the year though - they flowered round here months ago).  The bees were gone in a few hours, but it remains a mystery to me.

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On 18/04/2019 at 7:38 PM, john berry said:

Honeybees don't  chew their way into flowers like some bumblebees and I would have thought flower petals were softer than grape skins

On this note, I have watched my honey bees land at the base of the long Fuscia flower (fuscia - not sure of the spelling), and chew a small opening through the petal then proceed to draw out the nectar with its tongue. I watched with great interest as the bees went from flower to flower making the perforation at the base as described.

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Do they harvest the pollen on the introduced fuchsia species?

 

With the native fuchsia when the honey bee harvests the nectar from inside the flower, the fine filaments break and the purple pollen is transported back to the hive as an incidental gathering with the filaments and anthers hanging off the bees.  I understand that this is one of the few purple pollens

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22 hours ago, Old Timer said:

On this note, I have watched my honey bees land at the base of the long Fuscia flower (fuscia - not sure of the spelling), and chew a small opening through the petal then proceed to draw out the nectar with its tongue. I watched with great interest as the bees went from flower to flower making the perforation at the base as described.

image.png.b128708df1f7cb284a7d861b18ff2496.png

a pic i took a few years ago

Edited by tommy dave
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On 28/04/2019 at 8:36 PM, Old Timer said:

On this note, I have watched my honey bees land at the base of the long Fuscia flower (fuscia - not sure of the spelling), and chew a small opening through the petal then proceed to draw out the nectar with its tongue. I watched with great interest as the bees went from flower to flower making the perforation at the base as described.

Good information. I have always attributed  the holes at the base of a flower to bumblebees rather than honey bees.  A design fault on the part of the flower. I wonder what their effective pollinator is?

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41 minutes ago, Mummzie said:

I wonder what their effective pollinator is?

Tui, &  Korimako

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On 28/04/2019 at 10:56 AM, VictoriaF said:

I have also had nice neighbours who have contacted me when there is a sudden increase in the number of our bees which are flying (and pooing) over their place - no doubt when their house is in between the hive and some tree which happens to be flowering.

 

I'm not sure if it is placebo effect or not, but I have just turned the hive around slightly, and let the neighbours know, and then according to them the problem goes away.  This has happened on several occasions with 2 different neighbours.  It does seem to me that rotating the hive slightly can alter the bee flight path.

 

Funnily enough, for the first time ever, 2 days ago I also had a similar problem as you with another neighbour who had dozens of bees interested in her roof for some strange reason.  Good thing that she was fairly laid back as there were quite a few bees inside her house and back porch area too.  They weren't clustered as if swarming, and with a bit of recent rain, I can't see that they were looking for water in the gutters or anything.  They weren't interested in any other house/roof in our neighbourhood.  But they were definitely flying/hovering above her roof, although not really landing on it or inside the gutters.  She seemed to think that there was something blowing from her nearby Pohutukawa tree which was landing on the roof, which they liked (I don't know what Pohutukawa trees are producing at this time of the year though - they flowered round here months ago).  The bees were gone in a few hours, but it remains a mystery to me.

 

That's so interesting - It's all a bit of a mystery sometimes. We have  had a similar thing with lots of activity from either bees or wasps around a certain tree or corner of the house with no apparently food source for them. I notice the wasps in particular have been hugely attracted to the Kauri trees around our property, but I'm not sure what it is they are getting from it.  

 

Great tip re turning the hive around slightly! That's an excellent idea! My hive IS slightly facing their property, so perhaps a 45' shift in the opposite direction may help. Thanks so much!  

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2 minutes ago, waitakerebees said:

Great tip re turning the hive around slightly! That's an excellent idea! My hive IS slightly facing their property, so perhaps a 45' shift in the opposite direction may help. Thanks so much!  

Bees flight paths are not determined by what direction the hive is facing, you would be better to place a 1.8m or so, high screen in front off entrance to make the bees fly up n out above head height, but after that the bees are flying wherever the food source is.

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35 minutes ago, waitakerebees said:

 

That's so interesting - It's all a bit of a mystery sometimes. We have  had a similar thing with lots of activity from either bees or wasps around a certain tree or corner of the house with no apparently food source for them. I notice the wasps in particular have been hugely attracted to the Kauri trees around our property, but I'm not sure what it is they are getting from it.  

Up the road from me there are some pine trees absolutely growling with German wasps. They haven’t built a nest in the tree or anything like that but I’ve never seen wasps collecting  in these numbers before, they were all over the tree tops and branch tips. I wondered if it’s a mating spot. 

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29 minutes ago, nikki watts said:

Up the road from me there are some pine trees absolutely growling with German wasps. They haven’t built a nest in the tree or anything like that but I’ve never seen wasps collecting  in these numbers before, they were all over the tree tops and branch tips. I wondered if it’s a mating spot. 

After they after the some insects living in the trees ?

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17 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

After they after the some insects living in the trees ?

Don’t know. But I’ve just walked past our magnolia tree and it’s the same. Wasps all over it!! I’ve put out some fish to see if I can get them to take it and then I’ll nail them !!

19 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

After they after the some insects living in the trees ?

Do wasps swarm ??

19 minutes ago, nikki watts said:

Don’t know. But I’ve just walked past our magnolia tree and it’s the same. Wasps all over it!! I’ve put out some fish to see if I can get them to take it and then I’ll nail them !!

Do wasps swarm ??

Caught them in the act. Turns out wasps like orgys, who would have thought. Several just died with a smile on their faces 😎

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Right on the button Nikki Watts, just like drones wasps seem to congregate in places for the act, but it seems these areas are not the same each year.

couple of years ago I got called out by one of my farmers who said there must be a large wasp nest by the effluent pond , starting at the effluent pond and running down the fence line for approx 150 metres was a barbery hedge and from the top of the hedge to about 80cm above there were thousands of wasps flying up  and down the full length of the hedge,

and quite a few wasps were clustered in small groups nearby on thistles just doin there thing 

The wasps had never been noticed there before and haven't been noticed since.

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21 minutes ago, olbe said:

Right on the button Nikki Watts, just like drones wasps seem to congregate in places for the act, but it seems these areas are not the same each year.

couple of years ago I got called out by one of my farmers who said there must be a large wasp nest by the effluent pond , starting at the effluent pond and running down the fence line for approx 150 metres was a barbery hedge and from the top of the hedge to about 80cm above there were thousands of wasps flying up  and down the full length of the hedge,

and quite a few wasps were clustered in small groups nearby on thistles just doin there thing 

The wasps had never been noticed there before and haven't been noticed since.

That’s good to hear, I was thinking wasps were going to be a huge problem in our valley next year if the mating numbers anything to go by. 

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3 hours ago, nikki watts said:

That’s good to hear, I was thinking wasps were going to be a huge problem in our valley next year if the mating numbers anything to go by. 

my friend who captures wasps told me that in the autumn they all congregate around a place for mating.

that must have been why they were all in a blackwood a week ago .

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