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Old June 26th, 2012, 11:17 AM
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Bee swarm

Okay, so not technically pets, but they are mine! Yesterday one of our hives swarmed, we were lucky because it stayed in the yard having landed on a plum tree. The weight of the bee's hanging on the branch actually snapped the branch in two, it was about a 1" branch. Just a couple pics, one in the tree and one on it's way into it's new hive box.
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Old June 26th, 2012, 04:30 PM
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Okay, so not technically pets, but they are mine! Yesterday one of our hives swarmed, we were lucky because it stayed in the yard having landed on a plum tree. The weight of the bee's hanging on the branch actually snapped the branch in two, it was about a 1" branch. Just a couple pics, one in the tree and one on it's way into it's new hive box.
That is cool all those beautiful bees you have! We're losing our bees here,
they're getting some virus and fungus that is killing them off.
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Old June 26th, 2012, 05:05 PM
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Thanks Barkingdog, we're losing bee's here too, it's pretty much endemic worldwide these days. It seems to be mostly related to toxins from pesticides. Then of course there are mites (like a flea) that they get also which can wipe out a colony. It's a very interesting hobby, but a lot of work.
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Old June 26th, 2012, 06:19 PM
Kasianni Kasianni is offline
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Wow! Awesome pictures, thanks for sharing.
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Old June 26th, 2012, 07:37 PM
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Thanks Barkingdog, we're losing bee's here too, it's pretty much endemic worldwide these days. It seems to be mostly related to toxins from pesticides. Then of course there are mites (like a flea) that they get also which can wipe out a colony. It's a very interesting hobby, but a lot of work.
I bet all the crap that people spray on their lawns to made look 'greener' has something to do with the bees dying.
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Old June 26th, 2012, 09:38 PM
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I bet all the crap that people spray on their lawns to made look 'greener' has something to do with the bees dying.
I think the biggest problem is all the crap that gets sprayed on crops, specifically GMO crops.
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Old June 26th, 2012, 10:27 PM
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Fascinating pictures DD.

Sure hope the hives survive.

It's truly been an odd season for bees, hornets, and wasps. Haven't seen very many of them since our March warm spell.
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Old June 26th, 2012, 10:53 PM
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I bet all the crap that people spray on their lawns to made look 'greener' has something to do with the bees dying.
Personally, I think we need to rewind back to the good ole days of Diazinons, Chlorodanes, Funginex, Sevin, Malathion, etc....

All of the above substances have been banned by local government but in years past, they've never distrupted pollination.

Where are the lady bugs? Bee's are few and far between as well. The chemical crap that the government has instilled and banned over the past few years have played major havock to our environment and if they continue to ban what these beautiful creates are accustom to, it'll only get worse.

Just my worth.
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Old June 26th, 2012, 11:11 PM
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I think the biggest problem is all the crap that gets sprayed on crops, specifically GMO crops.
Yeah , I have to agree with you on that!
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Old June 26th, 2012, 11:17 PM
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Fascinating pictures DD.

Sure hope the hives survive.

It's truly been an odd season for bees, hornets, and wasps. Haven't seen very many of them since our March warm spell.
We have a lot of ants and ticks because of the warm winter we had. My condo
just cut down some apples trees that where front of our buildings. I was really upset about this as the bees we do have loved the apples trees and I enjoyed watching the bees gathering honey.
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Old June 26th, 2012, 11:38 PM
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That's incredible, DD! Are they settling in well in their new digs now?
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Old June 27th, 2012, 11:22 AM
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Hazel, I won't be checking in on the new bee colony until the weekend to see if the queen is laying eggs yet, but they seem to still be there, so that's a good sign. The weather has been yucky, they should be happy.

Yes pesticides are a major problem with the bee's and other insects. For the past several years many farmers and such have been using a type called Neonicotinoids (Bayer is a major manufacturer). These are neuro active pesticides that don't seem to harm larger mammals, but are extremely detrimental to insects. They block many of the receptors in the insects brains and then the insects (like bee's) can't find their way back to their hives. As bee keepers we are faced with constant stress on the hives through outside pesticides that we can't control, plus the issues with mites and diseases. There's a fine line with trying to treat the bee's for many of these issues, but through all the treating they are becoming resistant to the treatments and then dying more frequently because we can't control the issues - much like humans with all our drug resistant viruses.

I personally try to take a more natural approach to my bee's. I don't over treat them, very rarely actually. Swarms also are a natural part of bee's life cycle where they create new hives, that said, most people don't really appreciate a swarm of bee's in their back yard, so we try not to have the bee's swarm. Unfortunately sometimes bee's will just be bee's and we can't stop what they put into process. All that said, when the bee's swarm they are very gentle as they are not protecting their hive or honey. I make hubby suit up because he is allergic to stings, but professional bee keepers won't even both to put on protective gear when collecting a swarm they are so docile.
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Old June 27th, 2012, 11:51 AM
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Hazel, I won't be checking in on the new bee colony until the weekend to see if the queen is laying eggs yet, but they seem to still be there, so that's a good sign. The weather has been yucky, they should be happy.

Yes pesticides are a major problem with the bee's and other insects. For the past several years many farmers and such have been using a type called Neonicotinoids (Bayer is a major manufacturer). These are neuro active pesticides that don't seem to harm larger mammals, but are extremely detrimental to insects. They block many of the receptors in the insects brains and then the insects (like bee's) can't find their way back to their hives. As bee keepers we are faced with constant stress on the hives through outside pesticides that we can't control, plus the issues with mites and diseases. There's a fine line with trying to treat the bee's for many of these issues, but through all the treating they are becoming resistant to the treatments and then dying more frequently because we can't control the issues - much like humans with all our drug resistant viruses.

I personally try to take a more natural approach to my bee's. I don't over treat them, very rarely actually. Swarms also are a natural part of bee's life cycle where they create new hives, that said, most people don't really appreciate a swarm of bee's in their back yard, so we try not to have the bee's swarm. Unfortunately sometimes bee's will just be bee's and we can't stop what they put into process. All that said, when the bee's swarm they are very gentle as they are not protecting their hive or honey. I make hubby suit up because he is allergic to stings, but professional bee keepers won't even both to put on protective gear when collecting a swarm they are so docile.
I am not at all surprised that Bayer is the major manufacturer of Neonicotinoids! Bayer also made the poison mustard gas that was used in the Holocaust!
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Old June 27th, 2012, 11:55 AM
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Barkingdog, Bayer is not the only maker of these pesticides though, a search on the web will provide lots of info on them. Not supporting Bayer, just saying they are not alone. Many countries have banned the use of neonicotinoids, but so far as I know US and Canada have not.
DOG - a few years ago I bought a bag of lady bugs because we had aphids in the garden. They were soooooo expensive, and while they did great eating the aphids, within days they had all moved on with the wind. They forgot to eat many aphids before they left though. I never bought more based on the cost!
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Old June 27th, 2012, 11:21 PM
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DOG - a few years ago I bought a bag of lady bugs because we had aphids in the garden. They were soooooo expensive, and while they did great eating the aphids, within days they had all moved on with the wind. They forgot to eat many aphids before they left though. I never bought more based on the cost!
The original owners of our house use to purchase ladybugs for their roses as well. Heard they were rather expensive to purchase so I elected to plant companion Nasturtiums and Marigolds.

Thank you for sharing your hive stories DD. Very interesting and hard to believe your hubby's allergic to their stings but suits up and carries on. That's pretty awesome.
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Old June 28th, 2012, 11:51 AM
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Hubby is reckless around the bee's sometimes. I'm the one who has to watch him. He'll wander over and open up the top of the hive just to take a peek, or pick up the hive box with no gloves on and there's bee's all over the box so he gets stung in the hand. He just doesn't think about it. Fortunately he's not deathly allergic, but he swells up pretty good and it stays that way for days, so I insist he suits up no matter what he's up to. But he works away in his garden every day with bee's all over the place, which really is just proof that honeybee's are very gentle, docile creatures. We're not so fond of wasps though! Our old dog Shadow was hugely allergic to the bee's also, we had to put her in the house when we did bee work, and I would never leave her outside alone in the summer in case the hives swarmed and the bee's landed near her as she would go after them.
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Old June 28th, 2012, 12:16 PM
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Awesome photos, DD! We had a swarm settle in one of our trees in Utah many years ago. It was quite interesting to watch! The ity found a local bee kpper to come remove it. It didn't break any branches, but it was a massive ball of bees!

I hope the government will eventually step in and ban these horrible chemicals. They may not be as harful to large animals/people, but by killing the bees (and I've read several stories regarding this issue in the last couple of weeks), it is causing harm to all life. Very sad.
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Old June 28th, 2012, 04:56 PM
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Yeah, Rgeurts, I would suspect the concept of the chemical at first was meant in good faith (maybe) and not seeing any harm to animals and humans nobody realized the harm that was coming to the "good" insects. It's definitely time to ban them. I don't put anything on our lawns or such, and won't let hubby pull the dandylions because the bee's love them!

Last edited by Dog Dancer; June 29th, 2012 at 11:14 AM.
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Old June 28th, 2012, 08:16 PM
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Barkingdog, Bayer is not the only maker of these pesticides though, a search on the web will provide lots of info on them. Not supporting Bayer, just saying they are not alone. Many countries have banned the use of neonicotinoids, but so far as I know US and Canada have not.
DOG - a few years ago I bought a bag of lady bugs because we had aphids in the garden. They were soooooo expensive, and while they did great eating the aphids, within days they had all moved on with the wind. They forgot to eat many aphids before they left though. I never bought more based on the cost!
I know other companies made pesticides but Bayer help killed innocent people and I boycott them.
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Old June 29th, 2012, 10:21 AM
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These are really cool pix DD - thx for sharing them
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Old July 19th, 2012, 02:52 AM
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Great Pic. They are great living creators of this world. We live because of them..
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Old July 20th, 2012, 12:21 PM
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Thanks thildy! It's an interesting hobby, but a fair amount of work. We actually got into the bee thing because hubby has a huge garden and wanted better pollination. Oddly enough all our neighbours actually love the bee's - they have more fruit on their tree's and more flowers in their gardens. I was concerned about complaints, but it's been far the other way around. I live right in the middle of a city so it's not like my bee's aren't in everyone's yards.
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