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Bees in the roof

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    beekeeping forum -> Wild and feral honeybees and other bee species
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arewethereyet
House Bee


Joined: 26 Jul 2017
Posts: 12
Location: Wisbech, Cambridgeshire

PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:47 am    Post subject: Bees in the roof Reply with quote

I have two colonies of wild/feral honey bees in my property and I have looked out for them for two years.. I say honey bees but they are about half the size of a normal honey bee. After they both swarmed in May I noticed that the workers of the smaller colony (behind the fascia of the bay window) were becoming fewer in number and eventually they disappeared. I began to investigate when I discovered honey dripping down through the ceiling. Outside I discovered a crowd of larger darker bees which I thought were cuckoo bees but now know were drones. One week on and (at the risk of being wrong again) I now seem to have a full size honey bee colony ! This presents a problem. They are at head height and they seem quite aggressive.

The second wild/feral colony (flat roof to the rear of the property) has a drama playing out. They have been outside in an agitated state a few times. Once, I was hearing a loud buzzing behind the fascia and a second time I found a dead larva on the ground outside. I hope that they are not being replaced also because I love my tiny bees. I wish I could look inside to see what's going on.

I will update when I can get some decent pictures

Kristina
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arewethereyet
House Bee


Joined: 26 Jul 2017
Posts: 12
Location: Wisbech, Cambridgeshire

PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I now have no bees in the bay window roof. There was an explosion of activity but then gradually the bees became fewer in number. I think that they were all drones because I witnessed the blackbirds and sparrows picking them off. Also they did not swarm. They just seemed to drift away after the honey flow stopped. I also had about a lb. drip through the ceiling. I can't image why this colony collapsed like this, I don't know enough But I am going to spend the next few months learning more about bee keeping.

The flat roof bees seem to have calmed down, maybe the extra drones upset them. The hive is three years old so it must be getting quite big. If all goes well, I am plotting and planning how to catch next years swarm so that I can keep a better eye on them.

I have a few pictures on pinterest, but they are not very interesting

https://www.pinterest.com/cohort1/bees/
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arewethereyet
House Bee


Joined: 26 Jul 2017
Posts: 12
Location: Wisbech, Cambridgeshire

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:07 am    Post subject: Update Reply with quote

Sadly my little golden bees are no more. They have been replaced by others that are bigger, black and bolshy. I'm guessing that the old queen was murdered along with a potential replacement. This new colony are busy expanding their numbers and opening up further entrances at the bottom of the fascia. (I suppose I am storing up trouble for myself). There is a lot of squabbling going on but I guess there are drones still hanging around. This flat roof they live in is about 5 foot above head height so they don't interfere with humans too much, but I am wary of them and I don't feel inclined to want to catch next year's swarm. I wonder how far this year's 'little bee' swarm went. I would love to have them back again.

The bay window at the front of the house is now devoid of life so I am going to close that up.
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