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Coytee

Bee questions (as in flying insects with stingers)

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Away from my house, but in the middle of a field stands a dead tree.  In said tree is a knot that has an approximate "fist sized" hole in it.  I've noticed over the last couple summers while cutting the field that this hole is the primary ingress/egress point for the bees that evidently have a hive inside of the tree.  There are generally dozens and dozens of bees bustling about this entry point.

 

I also have historically been sting allergic (had shots so now it SHOULD be "merely sting sensitive")

 

None the less....  being a dead tree I'd like it gone.

 

Might I expect the bees to be hibernating inside the tree?  Do they leave and come back?  I don't need to cut the tree down, get them riled up and suffer their wrath.  I don't really care to kill them either as we have blueberries on the opposite side of the field.  To be 100% honest, I've not been close enough to the tree during their activity to know 100% that they're honeybees verses hornets/yellow jackets.  Given the distance I've been, I'm pretty sure they're bees.

 

Being winter, I know if they ARE about (saw a couple flying around the opening 2-days ago), so if they ARE flying about, they are going to be lethargic and very slow....but they still have ability to let you know they're ticked at you knocking their home down.

 

Anyone know enough about bees to guess if they are likely in there or just some stragglers?

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Find a local apiarist and have them come take a look - they should have sufficient resources to get a good look inside and help you safely remove the hive if you want to go down that path.

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Thanks!!  Awesome link!!!  Just sent them a message.

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Well if you have guts cut it down and drag it away as fast as you can. I don't have to tell you why.

JJK

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Coincidentally, I am working on an estate where a man in his 40's died from anaphylaxis from bee stings, leaving behind a wife and 3 minor children.  I think it was too late by the time they made it to the hospital.

 

Bee careful!

 

 

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Please consult a professional.  These are potentially lethal insects unless they are honey bees.

 

You're being nice to think about relocating the hive but this is like relocating a nest of rattle snakes.  

 

I was stung just below my right eye by a yellowjacket when I was young.  Maybe I had tried to brush it away but they are agressive.  My face was like pumpkin.  Had it gotten to my eye I'd probably have lost it.

 

You can read plenty of stuff on the internet.  There is already a chance a queen has established another hive near you.  The reproductive rate is phenomenal.

 

Listen to Jeff (thanks Jeff).  These are killers.

 

WMcD

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If you can cut/move that tree in the winter when the bees are in the hive (in that tree) and usually do not go out much, then do it.

If you are afraid some might come out and bite you, just have a smoke ready close to you. They are afraid of smoke because they think there is a fire nearby and fly away from it. Alternatively, plug the hole where bees can get out if you can.

You should not do them any harm that way because they are sort of hibernating in cold temperatures.

Later, in the spring when it gets warmer, if they do not like what you did to their home, they will just move out and find another home.

That is what bees usually do in the nature, if they do not like where hey are, they just move on to another location.

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People also ask
 
Where are the killer bees now?
Today, Africanized honey bees are found in southern California, southern Nevada, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, western Louisiana, southern Arkansas, and central and southern Florida
 
 

Murder Hornets’ in the U.S.: The Rush to Stop the Asian Giant Hornet

Sightings of the Asian giant hornet have prompted fears that the vicious insect could establish itself in the United States and devastate bee populations.

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  • 159
 
 
 
merlin_171970938_95ae4252-c96f-4d0e-8118
 
“This is our window to keep it from establishing,” Chris Looney, a Washington State entomologist, said of the two-inch Asian giant hornet. He displayed a dead hornet on his jacket. “This is our window to keep it from establishing,” Chris Looney, a Washington State entomologist, said of the two-inch Asian giant hornet. He displayed a dead hornet on his jacket.Credit...Ruth Fremson/The New York Times
  • Published May 2, 2020Updated Nov. 13, 2020

BLAINE, Wash. — In his decades of beekeeping, Ted McFall had never seen anything like it.

As he pulled his truck up to check on a group of hives near Custer, Wash., in November, he could spot from the window a mess of bee carcasses on the ground. As he looked closer, he saw a pile of dead members of the colony in front of a hive and more carnage inside — thousands and thousands of bees with their heads torn from their bodies and no sign of a culprit.

[Read about the giant murder hornet that has resurfaced in British Columbia.]

“I couldn’t wrap my head around what could have done that,” Mr. McFall said.

Only later did he come to suspect that the killer was what some researchers simply call the “murder hornet.

 

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10 hours ago, Coytee said:

Might I expect the bees to be hibernating inside the tree?  Do they leave and come back?  I don't need to cut the tree down, get them riled up and suffer their wrath.  I don't really care to kill them either as we have blueberries on the opposite side of the field.  To be 100% honest, I've not been close enough to the tree during their activity to know 100% that they're honeybees verses hornets/yellow jackets.  Given the distance I've been, I'm pretty sure they're bees.

 

Being winter, I know if they ARE about (saw a couple flying around the opening 2-days ago), so if they ARE flying about, they are going to be lethargic and very slow....but they still have ability to let you know they're ticked at you knocking their home down.

 

Anyone know enough about bees to guess if they are likely in there or just some stragglers?

 

something I know a little about

 

they sorta hibernate. All of the drones [males] get kicked out to die. The rest of the colony does not go to sleep for the winter... Interestingly, as a colony, a bee hive behaves like a war blooded animal. They shiver to maintain a certain degree of warmth in the "nest".   Burning up stored honey and pollen as fuel...which is why you see bees flying at times that are too cold for other insects.

 

As far as IDing... Yellowjackets typically nest in the ground. and I don't think hornets maintain any numbers... I am under the impression that only the queen over-winters...

 

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4 hours ago, parlophone1 said:

just have a smoke ready close to you. They are afraid of smoke because they think there is a fire nearby and fly away from it. Alternatively, plug the hole where bees can get out if you can.

 

Smoke first....then plug the hole as best you can. Look for a back door, too. Be careful to not kill bees... an alarm pheromone will be released and set the colony off...

 

..this is a problem [more of a nightmare] I anticipate running into, as I cut wood for my fireplace and most of the oak trees are hollow out here. We consider all feral colonies as AHB ..."killer bees" down here

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4 hours ago, dirtmudd said:

 

[Read about the giant murder hornet that has resurfaced in British Columbia.]

“I couldn’t wrap my head around what could have done that,” Mr. McFall said.

Only later did he come to suspect that the killer was what some researchers simply call the “murder hornet.

 

 

That link about Asian Giant Hornets is out of date.  As far as I know, the last of them in BC have been found and destroyed.

 

As for the nickname “Murder Hornets”, that seems like sensationalism to generate excitement.  Those bugs are big and scary enough that they don’t need scary names as well.  There’s a slightly different variety in Vietnam, but the locals have lived with them for maybe millennia without getting wiped out by the bugs.

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Just for clarificationi....  the trees destination is my burn pile so knocking it down and letting them leave on their own....  well....  let's just leave it at once it's down it's getting moved to the burn pile.  It might last there a week or three and then....smoke....  lots and lots of smoke.  Oh yeah, and some fire.  I tend to my fires so when they're done there is very little original material left as during my tending, I keep pushing the fire into itself so it's usually all consumed when done.

 

Discovering the hard way that I was sting allergic a number of years ago, I spent the following 5 years getting shots.  I was at the allergist literally every single week for five years.  When I "graduated" the Doc & I shared a nice goodbye....  he told me something I found interesting.  He said in  his entire career (I'm guessing 20'ish years??) that I was one of only a handful of people that actually went through the entire program.  As he said that, I reflected on people I've known....  they'll say their allergies are acting up....and they need to go get a shot as though the single shot is the fix.  

 

Anyway, when I got stung (by a wasp at the end of November) I landed in the ER for four hours.  When I got tested, (making up a scale here just to show some reference) we discovered that on a scale of 1-10, I was allergic as a "10" to hornets & yellow jackets.  I was maybe a "6" for wasps and bees might have come in at 4-5.  So had I been stung by a hornet/yellow jacket instead of a lethargic wasp, the story could have been more interesting.

 

About 2-years later, I finally had my graduation test.  Was outside and a hornet/yellow jacket (not sure which) got under my shirt somehow....stung me on the belly.  Stopped what I was doing, immediately took some Benedryl, had my epi-pen and phone ready.....and waited.  About two hours later I went back about my day feeling I passed that test.

 

I'm not interested in taking any more tests, irrespective of stinger size. 

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Please don't kill the hive by knocking the tree over and "letting them leave on their own." Honeybees are dying out all over. Mites,virus and colony collapse disorder are but a few reasons. And they are important to our food chain. The fear of them is overblown in the extreme. I am allergic as well.........to the point of hospitalization many times. However I will not kill honeybees. Now wasps and hornets are just assholes with wings and are exterminated with extreme prejudice.

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22 minutes ago, geezin' said:

Please don't kill the hive by knocking the tree over and "letting them leave on their own." Honeybees are dying out all over. Mites,virus and colony collapse disorder are but a few reasons

 

agree whole heartedly...

 

side note

I blame GM [Bt] corn and canola/rape seed for much of colony collapse.   Some varieties of bees are more resistant to mites and disease... I like Buckfast.

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13 hours ago, Coytee said:

I've not been close enough to the tree during their activity to know 100% that they're honeybees verses hornets/yellow jackets. 

 

Get yourself a some binoculars. If their the stinging variety, go visit the tree at night with a can of WD40 and a lighter....  might want to take along a fire extinguisher with you that evening.

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soapy water works... a lot less fun, though

 

you should be able to approach the hive during the day w/o drawing their ire.... don't stand in front of the hive entrance...

and DO NOT breathe into the[ir] entrance...That will get their attention in a bad way.

 

I used to keep bees before AHB were so common here

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The actual opening is maybe up to 15' in the air (?)  I can, and have, driven by with the 15' rear mower.  This is how I initially found them.  I still cut "next" to them but keep clear from actually hitting the tree so as to not draw their ire.  The entire time I'm cutting that area, I'm on pins & needles watching them.  So far their attitude seems to be live & let live and frankly, I'm fine with that as I'm presuming they are indeed, bees.

 

I have NO issues declaring all out war on virtually every other stinging SOB that lives.  I might add to this list little fire ants or any other ant that is into building mounds.  The twisted part of me wonders if they'd keep attacking if I took a propane torch....  poked their nest and had them pour out while getting flame-throwed.   Would they keep it up just to get fried to a crisp?  That's far more immediate satisfaction than Amdro.....but I understand Amdro will actually kill the nest whereas my twisted idea will really do nothing more than make me feel better (as someone who's suffered a number of their bites/stings)

 

I'm aware of the plight of the bees....  so am happy to try to give them a chance to live their best lives.....however....  that tree WILL come down on its own sooner or later.  It's already dropping branches and just rotting in place.  I'm generally trying to clean up a bunch of dead stuff & cut back over-growth all over the place so I can give this time but nature is also taking its course.

 

I'll be looking forward to a response from the bee people I emailed last night.  I do wonder how someone would approach this nest for removal?  It's inside the tree and up a bit so it's not an easy target.  Then again, maybe that's normal. (?)

 

 

 

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Considering the severeness of your allergy, I can understand why you hesitate to give them little creatures a chance to live. It`s you or them.

However, the bees are most benign of all stinger insects out there. A bee usually will not bite you unless really threatened. If a bee puts a stinger to your body, it dies because of the anatomy. Unlike wasps, hornets etc.

The professional beekeepers might offer to relocate the bee colony for you to another location. They can do that, just not sure if that can be done during the winter.

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