If you are wanting to start up a new beehive from scratch then you need what is called a colony of bees. This contains 1 queen bee, possibly some drone bees but also thousands of worker bees. These can be purchased here https://BuzzBee.com.au/bees .
You can not start up a new hive with just a queen bee, you need a whole community to support her to not only manage the hive, take care of the new brood but also to venture out to collect nectar and pollen.
If you buy a queen bee from us then you will buy a queen bee plus about half a dozen worker host bees that are used to take care of the queen during her journey to her new hive. They can beVpurchased here https://BuzzBee.com.au/queenbees .
Our queen bees are bred across both New South Wales and Victoria.
You may be aware, the current Varroa mite outbreak in NSW, has prevented any movement of honeybees (including Queen Bees) from leaving the state of New South Wales into other states. Victoria, Queensland and South Australia are currently not allowing any movements of bees over its boarders without a permit.
We have mated queen bees for sale, however during this time, we are not sending bees to: New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Western Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania.
When normallity resumes and all restrictions are lifted, we will send Queen bees to
the following states within Australia:
* Australian Capital Territory
* New South Wales
* South Australia
(*Special permits required. A $30 surcharge is included within this order to cover the cost of inspection
from Bio-security Tasmania)
Unfortunately at this time we
can not send Queen Bees to Western Australia and Northern Territory due to regulation rules.
Our queen bees all come un-marked. The reason being is they come straight from the bee yard and in addition many of our customers prefer receiving them unmarked. This allows customers to choose the colour marking of their choice or leave natural.
Yes there is but it takes time. The best solution is to replace the queen bee however be careful as this needs to be done correctly. The objective is for the colony of bees to accept a calmer queen bee and then breed her genies through the hive colony. For more information in replacing your queen bee in an aggressive colony read our blog about this.
A queen mates during the first 1-2 weeks of her adult life. She can take multiple mating flights and mated with several male drones where on average 12-15 drones however have seen research of up to 40. Increasing the genetic diversity of the colony is important for colony productivity and disease resistance.
There are many methods of raising queen bees, but the central tenant of queen production is that a fertilized eggmay be reared into a queen or worker depending on the food it receives as a larva. In general, a beekeeper specializing in queen production sets up special colonies (e.g., “starter” colonies) that are queenless. Young larvae are transferred, or “grafted,” from selected breeder colonies into man-made queen cell cups. The grafted larvae are placed into the starter colony where the queenless workers feed the queen-destined larvae large amounts of royal jelly.
The developing queen larvae may later be transferred to a “finishing” colony where the workers continue to feed and incubate the developing queens, or in some operations, the larvae are maintained throughout development in the starter colony. In all cases, the queens are removed from the colony a day or two before they are due to emerge, or about 10 days after the larvae were grafted into queen cups. Each queen cell is introduced individually into a small, queenless colony called a “mating nuc”. About 5-7 days after the queen emerges from her cell, she takes mating flight(s) over one or sometimes two afternoons and mates with 10-20 drones in a “drone congregation area.” She returns to her mating nuc and after several more days, begins to lay fertilized eggs. When the beekeeper sees eggs and larvae from the newly mated queen, about 2 weeks after the cell was introduced into the mating nuc, the queen is caged and sold.
– Marla Spivak, University of
Bees use chemical cues to interact with each other and to manage colony organisation. Alarm pheromone is used to recruit bees to defend the colony, while Nasanov pheromone is used for aggregation (during swarming or if bees are displaced from the colony). The forager bees produce a pheromone which slows the behavioural maturation of young bees so that they remain in the nursing state longer – this allows the colony to adjust the worker force to have the optimal number of nurses and foragers. The virgin queen releases a pheromone which is used to signal to drones during mating. After mating, the chemical composition of this pheromone changes, and it will inhibit the rearing of new queens, slow behavioural maturation of workers, and inhibit the development of ovaries in workers (so they remain sterile). Queen pheromone also attracts workers from a short distance and causes them to lick and antennate the queen in a “retinue response”. The workers in the retinue thus pick up the pheromone and spread it throughout the colony. The developing larvae produce brood pheromone, which stimulates feeding of the larvae, capping of the cells prior to pupation, and also slows the behavioural maturation of workers and inhibits worker ovary development. Exposure to both brood and queen pheromone will stimulate foraging behaviour in forager bees.
– Christina Grozinger, Pennsylvania
A colony of bees can sometimes be mixed up with the wording "hive of bees" or "swarm of bees".
Correctly a colony of bees is the whole collection of bees that forms inside a beehive. Therefore the correct term when talking about the bees inside a beehive is a colony.
A colony of bees are made up of predominantly three types of bees.
Queen Bee: There is 1 queen bee. She is the largest bee in the colony and is responsible for laying new eggs to grow the colony. She is the single layer within the colony.
Drone: These are the only male bees with in the colony. They are usually visible only during the spring and summer months where their primary purpose is breeding with virgin queens bees.
Worker Bees: As the name states, there are the hardest working bees within the colony. There are a wide range of roles that they undertake from foraging, nursing the new brood, scouts looking for new homes and guard bees keeping unwelcome visitors out.
The length of the life of a bee can depend on its variety, conditions and how much they are working.
Typically in the European Honey Worker Bees reared in spring and summer, when the colony is most productive, work tirelessly and may live for 45 days.
From a queen bee perspective the average life span of a queen bee is two to five years, they have however been known to live up to seven years, although this is rare.
During the active season, the lifetime of a worker is five to six weeks. Overwintering worker bees may, however, live for four to six months. Whatever their life span, worker bees usually confine themselves to one task at a time, working without pause. If they are field bees, they may be scouts or collectors. Scouts look for sources of nectar and pollen. Once suitable sources are located, the scouts recruit additional foragers.
Nectar collectors, pollen foragers, water gatherers or propolis gatherers work so single-mindedly at their jobs, they will not stop even to collect honey placed before them. During the day, one may see hundreds of spent workers, wings ragged, returning wearily to the hive. Worker bees are aptly named as they literally work themselves to death. Death occurs following approximately 50 miles of flight.
We have to be aware the scale of the drops of water vs the size of bees themselves. Yes this can affect their flight however it’s normal to see them go about foraging during a light shower. Although there’s no way in tempting them to leave the safety of their cosy hive during a heavy rain or thunderstorm.
Studies have shown that bees behave differently before astorm. They have been found to forage the evening before a
storm, so it seems they can sense the changes in air pressure long before the storm hits. They also tend to get less charitable with their honey stores, so you’ll notice that they’ll be more aggressive at that time. This is also a reason why many beekeepers tend not to inspect their hives during this period due to their temperament change.
When the bee stings its barbs which looks like a hook, enters the skin like a spear however, it can't pull the stinger back out. It leaves behind not only the stinger but also part of its digestive tract, plus muscles and nerves. This massive abdominal rupture effectively rips out its stomach and as a result kills the bee.
Therefore the honey bee can only sting once in its lifetime and will do so only if threatened. This is different from hornets and wasps of which can sting multiple times.
Depending upon the weather and light, they use the day light to not only see the sources of food they need, however also use the sun to aid their navigation. As a result, when it gets dark, they tend to return to the beehive. If you were to move a beehive to another location, its best to close the hive up at night so you can be sure most of the bees from that hive are inside and back home. This minimises loss of orphaned bees.
Stingless bees are highly social insects, with one queen and thousands of workers who live together in a protected place, which, in nature, is usually in a hollow tree. Stingless bees inhabit the northern parts of Australia, although on the east coast they reach a bit further south than Sydney. They also occur in other tropical parts of the world. The Australian species are much smaller than European honey bees. They are generally black in colour. As their name suggests, they do not have a sting although they can give you a little bite with their jaws. Although there are hundreds of species of Australian native bees, the stingless bees are the only ones that make and store quantities of honey.
Inexperienced and new beekeepers can often mistake a drone for the queen bee,
because he is larger and wider than a worker bee.
Queen Bee: The queen's shape is thinner, more delicate, tapered thorax and longer in length.
Drone: The drone shape is in fact more like a barrel with a wide round rear-hind. The drone's eyes are huge and seem to cover his entire head.
Worker Bee: These cover the majority of the hive and impossible to miss. They are smaller in size and will continuously be working within and outside the beehive.
The Western honeybee, referred to scientifically as Apis Mellifera, plays a small but sweet role in the vast, global spectrum of bee species. There are over 20,000 known types of bees, spanning every continent bar Antarctica.
The bees climb onto or into the flower and suck up the nectar with their straw-like mouth and collect it in a little sac called a crop. They also collect pollen on their legs. As they move from flower to flower, they leave a little bit of that pollen on each new flower they visit.
Bees produce the beeswax used in the construction of their combs from the four pair of wax glands located on the underside of the abdomen. These glands are most highly developed and active in bees 10-18 days old. The wax appears in small, irregular oval flakes or scales that project between the overlapped portions of the last four abdominal segments. Wax can be secreted only at relatively high temperatures and after a large intake of honey or nectar.
- John Skinner, University of Tennessee
The population decline of honeybees started in America in the mid 1980’s when two new parasitic mites were introduced. Most of our bees have pretty good resistance now to one of these, the tracheal mite, but there are still some bees killed by them. The Varroa mite continues to kill bees. We use plastic strips with chemicals in our hives to kill the mites. They have virtually wiped out the feral honeybees and the number of managed hives in Indiana has declined by almost two thirds.
The only good study on the size of the decrease was in California where about 90% of the feral colonies were killed by mites in the first two years after they arrived. This is happening all over the US and also in Europe and other places, like Mexico, Canada etc. It is a worldwide problem.
The Varroa mites came from the Asian honeybee, Apis Cerana, which can tolerate the mites. There are about 6 species called honeybees, in the genus Apis. You cannot cross them with each other so we cannot breed the resistance into our bees. There are about 20 subspecies of our Apis mellifera, and they all look fairly similar.
Probably the major cause of the decrease is Varroa mites, and the viruses associated with what is called “parasitic mite syndrome”. The mites feed on pupae and ride on adults. They are big enough to see with the naked eye.
However, a recent phenomenon referred to as “colony collapse disorder” has been reported to kill many hives in 2006 and 2007. The set of symptoms includes rapid dwindling of the population, resulting in just a handful of bees, a queen and no dead bees around the hive. Much brood and honey may be present. It remains to be seen if this problem will persist. Similar phenomenon has been observed in the past and referred to as “disappearing disease” but no one has determined the cause.
– Greg Hunt, Purdue University
Do not treat fields in bloom. Be especially careful when treating crops, such as alfalfa, sunflowers and canola, which are highly attractive to bees. Insecticide labels carry warning statements about application during bloom. Always read and follow the label.
Examine fields and field margins before spraying to determine if bees are foraging on flowering weeds. Milkweed, smartweed and dandelion are examples of common weeds that are highly attractive to honeybees. Where feasible, eliminate blooming weeds by mowing or tillage prior to insecticide application. While bright and colourful flowers are highly attractive to bees, some plants with inconspicuous blossoms such as dock, lambs quarter and ragweed also are
When examining areas for blooming plants, consider all blooming plants. It is also important to be aware that many plants only offer pollen and nectar for a few hours each day. Fields should be scouted for bees at the same time of day as the anticipated insecticide application. Choose short residual products and low hazard formulations. If insecticides must be applied during the flowering period to save a crop, select the least hazardous option. Avoid spray drift. Give careful attention to the position of blooming crops and weeds relative to wind speed and direction. Changing spray nozzles or reducing pressure can increase droplet size and reduce spray drift. Apply insecticides when bees are not foraging.
Some insecticides can be applied in late evening or early morning (i.e. from 8 p.m. to a.m.) with relative safety. In the case of corn, bees collect pollen from tassels in the early morning and are not present in the afternoon or evening. Short residual materials applied from late afternoon until midnight do not pose a bee hazard in corn fields if blooming weeds are not present. Adjust spray programs in relation to weather conditions. Reconsider the timing of insecticide application if unusually low temperatures are expected that night. Cool temperatures can delay the degradation process and cause residues to remain toxic to bees the following day. Stop applications when temperatures rise and bees re-enter the field in early morning.
Contact local beekeepers and obtain locations of bee yards. Many state law requires that apiaries be clearly identified with the name, address and phone number of the beekeeper.
Identification may appear on one or more colonies, or a separate sign may be posted in the apiary. Some state departments of agriculture maintain a list of apiary locations and can help identify the owner. If colonies are present in an area that will be sprayed with a bee-toxic insecticide, contact beekeepers in time for them to protect or move the colonies. Many pesticide applications pose minimal risk to bees, and beekeepers may choose to accept some risk rather than move colonies. Notify beekeepers as far in advance as possible.Read the pesticide label. Carefully follow listed precautions with regard to bee safety. Maintain bee forage areas. Intensive agriculture often increases bee dependence on cultivated crops for forage. Encouraging bee forage plants in wild or uncultivated areas will reduce bee dependence on crop plants that may require pesticide treatments. Plants recommended for uncultivated areas include sweet clover, white Dutch clover, alfalfa, purple vetch, birdsfoot trefoil, and partridge pea. Most trees and shrubs are beneficial to bees. The most attractive include linden, black locust, honey locust, Russian olive, wild plums, elderberries, red maples,
willows, and honeysuckle. Soil conservation, natural resource and game managers usually are eager to help establish plantings that benefit bees. These areas
also conserve soil and provide valuable habitat for plant and wildlife conservation programs.
– Marion Ellis, University of Nebraska
Choose low hazard apiary locations. Do not place bees adjacent to crops likely to be sprayed with an insecticide. Know the risks. Many crop pests can be controlled without endangering bees. Attend crop pest management training sessions to stay informed about crop pests and control measures used by growers and pplicators. These sessions also provide an opportunity to establish communication links with growers and applicators. Maintain positive working relationships with applicators.
Risk management decisions can best be made when both parties understand each other’s needs. A communication link should be established prior to the spray season rather than during peak activity when both parties are busy. Register apiaries and post identification. Register your apiaries with your state department of agriculture, Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service or any other agency that helps applicators contact beekeepers. Post your name, address and telephone number in a conspicuous place in your apiaries. Be prepared to protect colonies if necessary. Frequently, pests can be controlled without putting honeybees at risks. If pest control measures are necessary that carry unacceptable risks, know the options for protecting colonies and be prepared to implement them.
Options for protecting bees include:
1. Briefly confine bees to their hive with wet cloth when products with short residual activity are applied. This measure is only feasible if a small number of colonies are involved and if the confinement period is brief and early in the morning. Caution! This measure can result in colony injury due to overheating and should be used with care.
2. Disrupt foraging activity temporarily when short residual materials are applied by removing colony covers and offsetting boxes so as to increase colony exposure. This will result in a temporary reduction in foraging. Most bees will remain in the hive to protect their stores and to maintain temperature and humidity in the exposed nest. After a few hours to one day, colonies will adjust to the change and resume foraging. This method is safer than confining colonies but is not recommended if bees are located in or adjacent to fields that will be treated.
3. Move bees to another location at least four miles from the treated area when highly toxic products with extended residual activity are applied to blooming crops. Moving populous colonies during hot weather can result in considerable bee mortality and should be avoided if possible. Moves should be made in the early morning when temperatures are cool and the bees are least active. Provide educational resources to growers and applicators. There are many ways to alleviate bee poisoning. Often, severe losses can be avoided by relatively simple modifications of pest control programs. Talk with growers and applicators about how to reduce bee injury and provide them with reference materials, such as this FAQ, on protecting bees.
– Marion Ellis, University of Nebraska
Different formulations of the same insecticide often vary considerably in their toxicity to bees. Granular insecticides generally are not hazardous to honeybees. Dust formulations (seldom used today on commercial field crops) are typically more hazardous than
emulsifiable concentrates because they adhere to the bee’s body hairs and are carried back to the beehive. Wettable powder and flowable formulations essentially dry to a dust-like form which foragers can carry to the hives.
Likewise, microencapsulated insecticides can be collected by foragers along with pollen and carried back to the beehive. When honeybees are exposed to insecticides that kill foraging bees, honey production is reduced but colonies recover as young bees emerge. Exposure to dust, wettable powder, flowable, and microencapsulated formulations of insecticides can cause severe losses of both foraging bees and hive bees. In the worst cases, toxins may remain active in the hive for several months and preventcolonies from recovering from the injury.
– Marion Ellis, University of Nebraska
Spores of the fungus are ingested with the honeybee larval food. Larvae are most susceptible if they ingest spores when they are 3 to 4 days old and then are chilled briefly 2 days later, immediately after they are sealed in their cells to pupate. The spores germinate in the hind gut of the bee larva, but mycelial (vegetative) growth is arrested until the larva is sealed in its cell. At this stage, the larva is about 6 or 7 days old. The mycelial elements break out through the gut wall and invade the larval tissues until the entire larva is overcome. This generally requires from 2 to 3 days. Dead larvae are chalky white and usually covered with filaments (mycelia) that have a fluffy, cotton-like appearance. These mummified larvae may be mottled with brown or black spots, especially on the ventral sides, due to the presence of spore cysts or fruiting bodies of the fungus. Larvae that have been dead for a long time may become completely black as these fruiting bodies fully mature. Spores form only when there are different strains (+ and -) of mycelia present and in contact with each other.
We have found that using Mineral Bee https://buzzbee.com.au/products/mineral-bee-for-bees when combined into a sugar syrup solution, this can improves the health of the honey bee and as a result reduces the possibility prone to chalk brood and nosema.
Small hive beetle larvae often congregate in corners, possibly to retain heat. This clustering distinguishes beetle larvae from wax moth larvae that are found scattered throughout weak colonies. Other distinguishing characteristics include size. Beetle larvae never reach the size of mature wax moth larvae. Also, beetle larvae have three pairs of jointed, “true” legs located behind the head. Wax moth larvae have many small, fleshy, uniform legs along the length of the body. And the bodies of beetle larvae have tough exteriors while those of wax moth larvae are soft and easily penetrated.
– John Skinner, University of Tennessee
The small hive beetle, Aethina tumida Murray, is a pest of honeybees, that was first discovered damaging honeybee colonies in Florida in the spring of 1998. It is native to South Africa. When and how it arrived in North America is unknown; however, the earliest known collection was made in 1996 in Charleston, SC. By 1999 it was established in Florida, Georgia and North and South Carolina. In 2000, it was discovered in Alabama, Ohio, Maine, Michigan, South Dakota, Mississippi, and Tennessee.
Adult beetles are 6 mm (1/4″) long, dark brown to black, flattened, oval to oblong in shape, with the head often tucked below the thorax. If the head is in view, the short antennae have a conspicuous club on the last segment. The larvae are elongate, whitish grubs which grow to 11 mm in length. They have tapered front and rear ends, and rows of small spines on their back. Beetle pupae are light tan to brown and can be found in the soil beneath and near the hive.
Based on observations made in South Africa, eggs hatch in a few days and larvae complete development in 10 to 1 days. Pupation takes from three to four weeks. Several generations can occur within a year. Adults are strong fliers and easily disperse to new honeybee colonies to lay eggs.
– John Skinner, University of Tennessee
There are two species of wax moth that cause damage to honeybee colonies by consuming beeswax as their larvae develop and in the process of making a pupal cocoon, they score the wooden frames that hold the wax combs, weakening the wood. Damage becomes obvious as they produce large quantities of grey-white webbing and dark faecal material as they feed. The larger of the two species (3/4 inch long grey-brown adult), the greater wax moth, Gallaria melonella causes more damage and has a wider distribution while the lesser wax moth, Achroia grisella is more limited to warmer southern states. Wax moths are not a cause of colony death, they come in later after some other factor/malady has reduced the population of honeybees. Strong colonies of honeybees with large worker population can reduce numbers of wax moth to a level where they cause little damage.
– John Skinner, University of Tennessee
Nosema disease in honeybees is caused by two species of pathogens, Nosema Apis and Nosema Ceranae. Nosema Apis was the only known microsporidian honeybee pathogen until 1996, when a second species, Nosema ceranae, was identified from the Asian honeybee. Nosema ceranae appears to be the dominant species in the European honeybee (Apis mellifera) in many parts of the world, including in Europe and the United States. Both of these pathogens cause chronic deleterious effects in the honeybee host.
– Lee Solter, University of Illinois
The only way to be sure is to examine bees by microscope. A sample of bees is macerated in a small amount of water, and then a drop of the liquid is examined on a microscope slide at 400 power. Spores appear as ovals, about 3 by 5 microns. One outward indication of Nosema is brown spots (faecal material) on the outside or inside of a hive. The inner cover or top bars can be soiled with faeces in a hive that carries Nosema ceranae. However, a hive heavily infested with Nosema ceranae may appear normal otherwise.
– Tom Webster, Kentucky State
GENERAL BEE QUESTIONS
The colour of honey is determined by
the nectar collected by the honeybees from flowers. Colours range from nearly colourless to dark brown or nearly black.
Honey consists primarily of glucose and fructose (both are carbohydrates) and 17-18% water. Unlike other sweeteners, honey has trace vitamins and minerals including calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin and zinc. Antioxidants are also found in honey. Flavonoids and phenolic acids found in honey act as antioxidants scavenging and eliminating free radicals. Darker honeys tend to have highe quantities of antioxidants. Honey also makes an effective antimicrobial agent for treating sore throats and other bacterial infections.
– Nancy Ostiguy, Pennsylvania State University
It is assumed that raw honey is neither heated nor filtered. As there is no official or legal definition of raw honey, it is possible that a product labelled raw honey may have been heated or filtered.
– Nancy Ostiguy, Pennsylvania State University
Honey does not spoil. Crystallized honey is caused by the glucose in liquid honey becoming a solid. Honey can be consumed in its crystallized form, or you can warm the honey to dissolve the crystals by placing the jar in warm water and stirring until the crystals disappear. Do not boil or scorch the honey.
– Nancy Ostiguy, Pennsylvania State University
Some plants produce nectar that is poisonous to bees. It is difficult to understand how honeybees can produce honey from this toxic nectar. The effect on the bee is probably dose related at an individual as well as a colony level. The bee must consume a minimum amount of the toxin before it is affected. If the bee is visiting other non-toxic plants before returning to the colony, the toxin from the poisonous nectar may be diluted. Another factor may be the time it takes the toxin to act. The bee may eventually succumb but not before it brings the toxic nectar back to the colony. At the colony, a toxic nectar could be mixed with non-toxic nectar, diluting the toxin in the honey. For a water-soluble toxin, as the nectar is processed and water removed to make honey, the concentration of the toxin may increase to a level that may cause a response.
-John Skinner, University of Tennessee
The terms “pollen bee” and “non apis
bee” describes the same thing, which is any bee other than a honey bee. There are numerous types of honeybees, but they all have the genus name Apis. Honeybees are termed “honey bees” because they store large amounts of surplus honey, compared to other types of bees. Bumble bees, blue orchard bees, leaf-cutting bees, and any other type of bee without the genus name Apis does not store as much honey in their nest. They do store small amounts of nectar and pollen. The pollen is usually more apparent in some nests, such as the stick nesting blue orchard bee.
– Michael Wilson, University of Tennessee
A toxic reaction can occur after numerous stings. The venom acts as a poison. The lethal limit for the number of stings a person can sustain varies with weight and health. An adult person of average weight and “good health” may be able to sustain 1,000 stings, while a child, weighing much less or an individual in “poor health” may only be able to sustain 200 to 300 stings.
– John Skinner, University of Tennessee
A normal reaction to a sting is
localized, with swelling, redness and pain occurring near the sting site. Some people swell more than others. A sting on the wrist may cause the arm to swell up to the elbow. Some people show a delayed reaction, with symptoms appearing one to several hours later.
An abnormal or systemic reaction involves generalized symptoms that occur away from the sting site, such as hives, profuse sweating, shortness of breath and tightness of the throat. A victim with these symptoms should be taken immediately to a hospital for treatment. Treatment usuall includes a shot of epinephrine. Persons who are aware they are allergic should carry an epinephrine kit, “EPI KIT,” prescribed by their doctor. Epinephrine stabilizes the vascular system, preventing throat swelling that could inhibit breathing. Epinephrine should not be given to a victim who has a heart condition. Abnormal reactions usually occur soon after the person has been stung, but less often, the reaction may be delayed.
– John Skinner, University
The queen and workers are female bees with a diploid set of chromosomes. The drones are male with a haploid set of chromosomes. To get a worker, the queen must add sperm to the egg. There must be a male to provide that sperm. To get a male, she does nothing but deposit the egg in a cell. No sperm in needed from a male bee.
This is also the reason when there is a laying worker within a hive, where they produce only drones as the laying worker will not be mated and not have any sperm to aid the building of female workers.
BEE COLONIES, SWARMS AND NESTS
Sometimes it may be necessary to exterminate honeybees that are in the walls of a house because of the difficulty of removing them. Some exterminators will not kill bees because they say they are an endangered species. Bees are not really endangered because it is possible for beekeepers to control the pests and diseases and to replace hives that die in the winter (although it may be expensive).
It is difficult to find a beekeeper to remove them. An exterminator would probably squirt some dust in the hole to kill the bees (such as Aphicide or Seven). Dust works well because it gets tracked into the nest, but other may use wasp spray.
If you could remove some boards to access the combs, it is possible a beekeeper could remove the bees and put them in a hive. This process is difficult because it may damage your home. The brood comb must be cut out and wired into frames that get put in a hive. If the queen is transferred to the hive with brood, the rest of the bees will eventually follow, although it may be necessary to leave the hive there for a few hours or overnight.
If you were to kill those bees with some dust without removing the comb, it may be better to wait until spring. They might die on their own during the winter and there will be much less honey
in the nest in the spring. The problem with the honey is that after you kill the bees the wax moths often destroy the wax honey comb and the honey could drip between your walls and possibly cause damage.
– Greg Hunt, Purdue University
When honeybees swarm, the old queen leaves the hive with most of the bees. They usually cluster on a limb of a tree for several days while scout bees search for suitable cavities to nest in. They actually “tell” other bees where the cavity is by dancing on the surface of the swarm. If enough bees start visiting the cavity, the swarm will take flight and move in to start making new honeycomb for their nest. Problems arise when the nest is in someone’s house or a tree that is close to where people frequently go.
Honeybees sting to defend their nest but not when they are foraging on flowers (unless you step on them). Bees rarely pose a stinging threat unless you are very close to the entrance to their nest, or if one accidentally flies into your hair, gets stuck in your clothing, or you step on one barefoot. If the entrance is above the heads of kids that are in the area, it is very unlikely they will get stung, unless they throw stones at it. If the kids are in the flightpath, they could get bees stuck in their hair and get stung, or the bees may see them as a threat.
Removing bees from trees requires opening the tree or cutting it down so that you can cut out the brood comb and get the queen. It is best to take the brood comb and wire pieces of it into empty frames in a standard hive. If you get the queen, the rest of the bees will move to the hive within a few hours. It can then be moved to a new location, preferably when it gets dark so that all the bees are inside.
There is another method to get most of the bees out of a tree but it takes up to two months and is not always successful. In fact, I don’t personally know someone who has told me they did it successfully. It involves sealing all but one entrance and putting an
inverted screen funnel over the entrance so that bees can exit but not return. A hive is placed very near the exit hole containing some empty comb. This method gets most of the bees to adopt the new hive, but the queen and a few bees will remain in the tree and new bees will emerge, so the nest continues. If it is absolutely necessary to kill the bees, there is a dust called Apicide that is registered to kill honeybees. Seven dust is more readily available and contains the same type of active ingredient. It can be injected using a dus sprayer into the entrance. After several treatments, the colony will eventuall die. Some exterminators do not kill honeybees because they believe they are endangered. Officially, honeybees are not an endangered species and it is legal to kill them.
– Greg Hunt, Purdue University
Maybe, especially if bees have occupied the wall before. Bees are attracted by the odor of the other bees. You can prevent their entry by sealing outside openings 3/8th of an inch or larger with caulking or window screen. If the bees enter your wall, they are difficult to remove.
The difference between a newly installed package of bees and an established hive has to do with the comb (an established have has drawn the comb out and has stores and brood) and the existence of brood in an established hive. Between the drawn comb and the presence of brood bees are very likely to stay put.
NATIVE AND LOCAL BEES
The general life cycle of the bumble
bee differs a bit in different parts of the U.S., but in the Northeast the life
cycle is as follows. Only new queens (produced at the end of the summer)
overwinter. In the late summer and fall they mate (the males die) and the
queens feed heavily on late summer and fall flowers such as asters and
goldenrods. The queens then seek out protected overwintering sites in
stonewalls and fallen trees. Many of these sites are in the forest edge. In the early spring, queens emerge from their overwintering sites and search for nest sites. Nest sites are often abandoned rodent or rabbit burrows that the queens find by smell. The queens lay fertilized eggs, incubate them and keep them warm with their body heat. When the eggs hatch, the queens forage for pollen and nectar on early spring flowering trees and shrubs and early blooming herbaceous wildflowers. The queen raises her daughters through several larva stages, a pupa stage and upon completion of this stage they metamorphose to worker bees, in a month to a month and a half. These workers are generally very small as the queen was only able to provide them with limited food. With the first batch of mature daughters the queen forages less and less and instead stay in the nest and rears more daughters. The mature daughters become the foraging force. Throughout the summer more mature daughters emerge and so the colony grows in numbers and the workers also become larger as their food limitation becomes less. By mid-summer, the queen not only lays eggs destined to become daughters, but also lays eggs that will become males or drones. The late summer males and females that emerge leave the nest and mate. The males die and the large females which are destined to become next years queens feed heavily in preparation for hibernation in overwintering sites. The old queen does not usually live past the late summer or fall.
– Frank Drummond, University of Maine
PLANTS AND FLOWERS FOR BEES
Any flowering, pollen-producing plant will attract bees, including your vegetables. Bees also need a source of water, so the addition of a bird bath or something similar can help attract them. The only caution is that some of the flowering annuals will reseed themselves vigorously and can become “weeds” in subsequent gardens.
One of the easiest ways to help
native bees and honeybees is by planting flowers in your garden. You don’t have to have a huge garden or beautiful landscaping either, just a wide range of flowering fauna that appeal to bees.
They can see colours at the yellow and blue ends of the spectrum most easily, which is why mostly they’re attracted to white, yellow, purple, and blue flowers. They can’t see red bu may still feed on red flowers that have a strong scent. Honeybees prefer flowers with wide blooms and open petals, so it’s easy for them to reach the nectar inside. However, some native bees have adapted to forage from flowers with deep, bell-shaped blossoms.
Honeybees improve, or supplement,
pollination for most plants they visit. However, honeybees are considered
negligible pollinators for the following crops: soybean, peach, field beans,
snap beans, tomato, corn, cotton, peanuts, pecans, canola, and alfalfa. In cases like these, the plant is either independent of insect pollination in
general or dependent on other pollinators.
– Keith Delaplane, University of Georgia
The average beehive densities (hives
per acre) recommended for crops grown in the USA and Australia range from 1-7. Most crops that benefit from honeybees require usually 2-3 bee hive. Recommended numbers have tended to move upwards in recent years because of a reduction in the native bee and wild honeybee densities. More managed bees are required to make up the difference.
Plants can produce chemicals in sap, pollen, nectar or honeydew that are toxic to honeybees and humans. Some plants, such as the linden, are usually considered an excellent source of nectar, although unde certain specific stress conditions, they have been shown to poison bees. These “specific stress conditions” seem to occur repeatedly in most cases of poisoning and they affect the dose of poison the bees receive. When environmental conditions, especially soil moisture, reduce other sources of nectar, the bee is forced to forage from the toxi source because it is the only food available. Under “normal” moisture, other sources are available that dilute the amount of toxic substance to a level below the threshold of a toxic response.
The dose is the amount or quantity of chemical present. It is important to understand the concept of dose because the quantity of a chemical toxin from a poisonous plant at a low\ dose may be a valuable medicine, while at higher dose the same chemical can be deadly. A substance that is toxic to one organism may not be toxic to another. If honey produced from one plant nectar is toxic to humans, it cannot be assumed that the nectar or honey from this plant is also toxic to bees. The converse is also possible, that nectar or honey from a toxic plant may be toxic to bees but not to humans.
Some plants that have been reported as poisonous are listed below.
* Summer Titi – Cyrilla racemiflora – is toxic to honeybees and can cause the condition called “purple brood”.
* Rhododendron from the heath family (Ericaceae) is poisonous to bees and humans. It contains an andromedotoxin.
* Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia) also contains an andromedotoxin which can poison humans.
* California buckeye (Aesculus californica) – has caused losses of honey bee colonies throughout its range.
* Yellow jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) – Humans have been poisoned from sucking the nectar from flowers or from eating honey made from this plant. Bees foraging on the flowers of yellow jessamine have appeared intoxicated, became paralyzed and died. Yellow jessamine has been reported to cause periodic poisoning of bees in Georgia and in Mississippi.
-John Skinner, University of Tennessee
Yes, we ship all over the world. Shipping costs will apply, and will be added at checkout. We run discounts and promotions all year, so stay tuned for exclusive deals.
It depends on where you are. Orders processed here will take 5-7 business days to arrive. Overseas deliveries can take anywhere from 7-16 days. Delivery details will be provided in your confirmation email.
We use all major carriers, and local courier partners. You’ll be asked to select a delivery method during checkout.
We always aim for make sure our customers love our products, but if you do need to return an order, we’re happy to help. Just email us directly and we’ll take you through the process.
Please note due to the nature of the product of bees, bees cannot be returned.
The bee feed that we stock has 20% pollen, is GMO Free and has 37% crude protein. This makes it perfect for our bees.
Please note as this contains pollen, some specific states with Australia have bio-security regulations preventing the sale of this product to those states. At current this includes Western Australia.
It depends on the creator and the product. All options are outlined on the product page, so look out for customization options there.
You can contact us through our contact page! We will be happy to assist you.