The Insect Invasion

Look what we discovered in the eaves of the front porch this afternoon….20120302-173811.jpg
Photo by: Brent Erickson

I am NOT a happy camper. Its next to the electric wires, and wrapped completely around the incoming cable line. So I guess the hive is getting HBO for free…The only things that terrify me more than bees are spiders. And even though it snowed yesterday its almost 40 degrees today, so the intrepid Bee Killer-aka my husband-does not want to chance trying to take it down till the temperature drops back below freezing. I seriously have THE worst case of the heebie-jeebies right now…..All I can think about is that moment in ‘The Shining’ miniseries where the old hive came back to life… I watch wayyy too many horror movies…

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13 thoughts on “The Insect Invasion

  1. It may, but there is not enough evidence to say for sure or to be definite about what allergies it helps, how it helps and how effective it is.

    For example, if you have hay fever that is caused by the pollen of a particular tree or plant in your area, and you eat local honey that is specifically from that tree or plant, then it could help your allergy. However, many people suffer hay fever as a result of an allergy to grass pollen – and bees don’t collect nectar from grass! It is a common myth that all honey helps hay fever because ‘Bees don’t get hay fever’, but that’s because bees don’t have respiratory systems, they have an oxygen–carbon dioxide exchange system instead.

    Your local beekeeper should be able to tell you what plants their bees forage, as they can identify this from the different colours of pollen inside the hive. It makes beautiful rainbows on the comb like the ones Emily and me found in our hives last year: http://basilandbees.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/secret-beekeepers20110910_0020.jpg

    There is some interesting research on manuka honey at the moment about how it may be effective against superbugs like MRSA and how this and other honeys may be useful for healing burns and wounds. It is all quite early, though.

  2. Wasps, and bumble bees, only make enough honey to feed their colonies throughout spring and summer, but not enough for winter because only the queens overwinter. Honeybees make enough honey for the whole colony to survive the winter. As wasp colonies fall apart at the end of summer, they are starving, desperate and aggressive, attacking honeybee hives to steal honey. We lay traps of water and jam in plastic bottles that attract only wasps (for some reason not bees) and they can’t get out and drown. Wasps are pretty opportunistic when we harvest our honey in midsummer too. During the process of clearing bees from the part of the hive that honey is harvested, we have to ensure there are no holes or cracks for wasps to sneak in as they can empty frames overnight.

    You certainly have had ‘adventures’ with wasps. Wow, a humming wall. I don’t think I could have handled that. I burn eucalyptus globulus essential oil by windows in summer as wasps don’t seem to like the smell very much. I hope your yellow jackets don’t get out of hand this year!

    Honeybees are much nicer, I’ve never been stung by our ladies and we rarely even have to smoke them because they are so calm and just get on with their work when we open the hives 🙂

  3. Your husband is very brave! I am terrified of wasps, particularly when they attack my hives in late summer to try and steal honey. Phew, I am glad you can now enjoy long summer evenings chilling on your porch with a glass of lemonade and no wasps! 🙂

    • We have to scrape little nests off the deck railings all summer. This is the biggest one I’ve seen. And they’re the nasty bald/white faced ones, I think. Brent had a really bad experience with them when he reroofed our house about 15 years ago. 2 years ago yellow jacket built a nest in the outer wall of the house with the entrance just under our back door. If you put your hand on the wall by the door you could feel the humming. We had that one professionally taken care of -and even they were freaked out. I had no idea wasps stole honey! Interesting. How do you deal with them and keep your bees happy?

  4. Thanks for letting me know. My fearless husband went out when the temperature dropped and destroyed the nest. He broke it apart and scattered it under the pine trees. Hopefully the skunks will have a feast on the larvae. I hate wasps and yellow jackets, which I usually generically group with and refer to as “bees”- even though I shouldn’t. As a beekeeper, I really really appreciate your response. Thank you!

  5. I understand your heebie-jeebies, as a beekeeper I am not a fan of wasps.

    That’s a wasps’ nest not bees. Wasps make these elaborate paper-cocoon nests from wood shavings. It will be guarded by sentries, but if you keep your distance they should leave you alone. The colony will get more defensive towards the end of summer. In late autumn, the entire colony should die out naturally, except the queen who overwinters. She then flies out next spring – usually, to find a new nesting site and your nest should then be gone.

    Bees usually find ready-made cavities in tree trunks, roofs, chimneys, any place that is dark and sheltered, but they don’t build these cocoons.

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