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Keeping bees

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Post  camprn 9/26/2015, 7:20 am

Our fall flow is just about over. It's been a banner year with few queen problems, wonderful weather and great flows for lots of honey.

I have to take off the last of the supers, do a mite drop check, and treat if necessary, in a few weeks.

How are things going in your apiary?

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Post  Scorpio Rising 9/26/2015, 10:25 am

There are a ton of bees living in my patio, going in and out of a chink in the mortar between bricks. LOTS of them. How do I tell what kind they are?
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Post  camprn 9/26/2015, 11:54 am

Post a photo here. Maybe we can help you.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Post  sanderson 9/26/2015, 1:22 pm

Is the chink in the brick facade of the house? Yes, photos.

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Post  Scorpio Rising 9/26/2015, 9:58 pm

No, the base of my patio is brick that my house is made of, about 2 feet tall. Over that is a big slab of concrete. Said chink in mortar is about a foot off the ground under the patio concrete. I will get pics tomorrow. I have a feeling they are wasps, not cute fuzzy (relatively speaking of course) bees. Hymenoptera for sure.

Pics in the AM.
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Post  camprn 9/26/2015, 10:10 pm

Hymenoptera aren't bees, to be sure. But post a piccy and we'll see what they are.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Post  Scorpio Rising 9/26/2015, 10:17 pm

camprn wrote:Hymenoptera aren't bees,  to be sure.  But post a piccy and we'll see what they are.

I did not know that. I will get you pics!
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Post  sanderson 9/27/2015, 2:44 am

camprn wrote:Hymenoptera aren't bees,  to be sure.  But post a piccy and we'll see what they are.

??
http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/arthropoda/uniramia/hymenoptera.html

http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/course/ent425/library/compendium/hymenoptera.html

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Post  camprn 9/27/2015, 10:46 am

sanderson wrote:
camprn wrote:Hymenoptera aren't bees,  to be sure.  But post a piccy and we'll see what they are.

??
http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/arthropoda/uniramia/hymenoptera.html

http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/course/ent425/library/compendium/hymenoptera.html
I miswrote. Hymenoptera are not all bees.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apidae

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bee

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wasp

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



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Post  Scorpio Rising 9/27/2015, 11:43 am

https://servimg.com/view/19257783/28

Here is one, they are hard to get a picture of.
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Post  Scorpio Rising 9/27/2015, 11:51 am

https://servimg.com/view/19257783/26

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Post  Scorpio Rising 9/27/2015, 11:54 am

OK, yeah, I knew hymenoptera were not all bees, even ants are part of that order. I don't think these are honey bees, not cute and furry, rather waspy looking. But they move so fast! Not sure.
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Post  NHGardener 9/27/2015, 12:01 pm

Looks like a wasp's nest to me, those look like yellow jackets from what I can see. I believe wasps die out in winter, no? So they may not even come back next year. You can spray the foundation there with lemon dish soap and water, that's supposed to keep them away. I'd probably do it in early spring before they look for nesting spots.

What do the rest of you think?
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Post  sanderson 9/27/2015, 1:07 pm

Yellow jacket or even possibly syrphid fly. I know it's hard to get a clear closeup.

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Post  Scorpio Rising 9/27/2015, 1:21 pm

Yeah, that is what I thought too, they even act kinda like yellow jackets, they don't like it when I have to turn on the water spigot which is right there next to that area. And they definitely don't like it when Z noses around there. I will try that next spring with the lemon dish soap. Try to keep them away. Or maybe just repair that chink in the mortar.

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Post  camprn 9/27/2015, 2:18 pm

Yellow Jackets

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Post  Scorpio Rising 9/27/2015, 2:28 pm

Will they die over the winter?
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Post  NHGardener 9/27/2015, 2:44 pm

My wasps tend to build nests under the eaves of my chicken coop, so I can see them. When frost hits, they die. But they could rebuild the nest in the same area next spring, so you might want to put something in that crack.

On the other hand, wasps are good for the garden. They eat garden pests. I've seen a wasp wrestle a cabbage worm, because their developing young need protein. You just don't want them in an area where you'll get stung, because I've found they don't think twice about stinging you. They seem to enjoy it.
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Post  Scorpio Rising 9/27/2015, 7:29 pm

Right, NHG, I know wasps are good predators. I just don't like their location. Thanks!
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Post  Pollinator 9/28/2015, 1:04 am

Scorpio Rising wrote:Will they die over the winter?
They will die when freezing weather comes. They do not store food, and there will be next to nothing after a freeze, so they starve. They've already raised queens, now mated and finding hiding spots for the winter, so there will be new colonies next year. I've found it unusual for them to nest in the same spot in subsequent years. That may be for protection of their health.
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Post  Scorpio Rising 9/29/2015, 7:28 am

Thanks, pollinator, good to know. They are just right by my spigot, and they seem to resent my presence, so I hope they move on! I will probably caulk up the hole early spring just to make sure nobody else moves in there!
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Post  plantoid 9/30/2015, 2:46 pm

Here in the UK it's quite common for wasps to go dormant and overwinter in a massive nest so long as there is a heat source  near them to stop them freezing to death .. they have many many queens in such nests.

The biggest overwintering wasp nest I've taken out was big enough to fill 15 x 80 litre heavy duty rubble sacks . It was a good seven feet deep and eight feet long  nestled in the roof void of an old folks residential home.

 I've also come across several big over wintering wasp nests in between bales of hay stored  undercover on pallets in the same bigger building where a few horses are stables in commercial stalls.
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Post  Scorpio Rising 9/30/2015, 5:32 pm

Oh dear, plantoid, I hope this is a transient horde, and there is no heat where they are in winter. It gets really cold here, below 0F, -18C...cold.
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Post  Pollinator 10/1/2015, 7:45 pm

plantoid wrote:Here in the UK it's quite common for wasps to go dormant and overwinter in a massive nest so long as there is a heat source  near them to stop them freezing to death .. they have many many queens in such nests.

The biggest overwintering wasp nest I've taken out was big enough to fill 15 x 80 litre heavy duty rubble sacks . It was a good seven feet deep and eight feet long  nestled in the roof void of an old folks residential home.

 I've also come across several big over wintering wasp nests in between bales of hay stored  undercover on pallets in the same bigger building where a few horses are stables in commercial stalls.

 This would be the exception, rather than the rule here in the US. I've seen overwintering wasp nests in Florida, where it would be more common. I remember one humungous nest in a porch ceiling in upstate NY that survived winter, so it can happen. I had to remove that one in the spring - and they weren't happy about it. But, in all my years of observing them, this is the only one I've ever seen or heard of, where winters are cold.
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Post  Escaped Lunatic 10/5/2015, 8:15 am

One of my neighbors had an indoor beehive set up next to a window.  It was 2 houses away and I thought I MUST be seeing things, but I broke out the binoculars just to be sure. Shocked

What's odd in the wasp department here is that I see a lot of different wasps, but I've only seen one nest so far (common paper-wasp type about 4" across).  There are so many overhangs here in the village that I'm surprised I haven't seen another one anywhere.  I guess the rest of the wasps in the neighborhood (and other places I've been) must have friendly people setting up places for wasps next to their indoor bee hives.  Laughing
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