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Hive mind, help with my bee problem
July 19, 2012 5:24 PM   Subscribe

We are doing a construction/cleanout job on a townhome and found a bag of potting soil on the back patio. When we went to move it, it turned out to be full of bees! I can actually see honeycomb inside the bag. How can I relocate the bees without hurting them?

I left messages for some people who do "bee removal" but I think these are more along the lines of exterminators. I'd really like to just have them moved somewhere. It seems like there's a lot of people who do that, but none in my area.

The hive seems very self-contained in it's bag. If we just took a box and contained the whole thing in it and took it out to the woods somewhere, would the bees be ok?
posted by Melsky to Science & Nature (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Can you find out if there are any beekeepers in your city?
posted by lizbunny at 5:27 PM on July 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Maybe try contacting whoever's closest to you here?: http://www.masterbeekeeper.org/resources/beegroups.htm
posted by Seboshin at 5:41 PM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here's a list of beekeepers and local honey producers in your area.
posted by thanotopsis at 5:41 PM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bees thrive in grasses and wherever there are flowering plants. Leave the box in a field in a place where it won't be upset for a few days.
posted by artdrectr at 5:44 PM on July 19, 2012


And at least 3 miles from the original location, or they'll run into their old smells near the hive and get confused and maybe come back, or maybe part of the colony will just wander off.
posted by cmoj at 6:17 PM on July 19, 2012


It's not that hard to do yourself, if you're game (warning, you might get stung). I have done this (and didn't get stung).

Wear tight, sealing white clothes, do it at night, wrap the current container up in a sheet fairly tightly, move slowly and gently, don't panic when bees land on you to check you out, drive to some nice forest not too nearby, and leave it. The bees will be fine, if hte bag isn't good for them that's their problem not yours.

Except that that might be littering. Can't help you with that.

Otherwise, a local beekeeper may well want to take the hive from you. He may charge you. Definitely don't use an exterminator though.
posted by wilful at 6:57 PM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Check any Future Farmers of America or 4H groups in your area. Someone might be doing a bee keeping project.
posted by Swisstine at 9:03 PM on July 19, 2012


New York Beekeepers & Honeybee Removal -- there's one in Syracuse, if that's where you are!
posted by changeling at 9:08 PM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Blow smoke on 'em! Cigarette smoke is better than nothin. After you got 'em wrapped in the sheet as above, they might be easier for you to transport if you gently place 'em in a box instead of trying to lug around that bag. Plus you can close a box easy. Thanks for not killing the bees!
posted by windykites at 9:09 PM on July 19, 2012


Blow smoke on 'em! Cigarette smoke is better than nothin.

No! Nicotine is an insecticide, that is why plants make it.

Absolutely call a beekeeper. They will be glad to take it away, give it a good home, and most likely give you some honey for your trouble if you ask. Every hive you place into the care of a local beekeeper is another hive that bolsters the total bee population against CCD!
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:37 PM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, no need to try to handle this on your own. Someone wants this colony! Get your local beekeepers group; then you will be sure not to have an exterminator. They probably have a mailing list or Yahoo or Google group or something, if not a website or phone book listing.

(Super cool!! pics??)

Thank you for trying to rescue them, and not just kill them outright.
posted by librarina at 10:46 PM on July 19, 2012


Please let us know what you decided to do and how it worked out?
posted by likeso at 1:12 AM on July 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


Beekeepers will be happy to come pick them up, because hey, free bees! They will not be there to exterminate. They will be there to TAKE YOUR BEES and run with them, rubbing their hands together and giggling.
posted by corb at 5:05 PM on July 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


Beekeepers will be happy to come pick them up, because hey, free bees! They will not be there to exterminate. They will be there to TAKE YOUR BEES and run with them, rubbing their hands together and giggling walk away calmly and quietly, chortling madly inside.

FTFY. ;-)
posted by Lexica at 6:45 PM on July 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm embarrassed to write this follow up - actually I have a wasp problem, not a bee problem.

The first day I looked at them, it was a quick look in bad light, and since I had been stung earlier that week by an actual bee, and my contractors told me it was bees, I thought that was what they were. When I went there yesterday to take photos I realized what I had thought was honeycomb was a cross section of their paper nest. Duh!

I'm glad I figured it out before having any beekeepers come over because they wouldn't have been chortling with glee as they left. Though I'm sure they probably make people take photos first, likely I'm not the only person who has made this mistake!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to help.
posted by Melsky at 2:25 AM on July 21, 2012


(european) Wasp problems are easy - kill the fuckers, hard!
posted by wilful at 7:18 PM on July 21, 2012


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