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Tagged: Nature study
Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
A weird thing has occurred in our house today. It has been unseasonably warm–70 degrees right now in the Texas Panhandle. I opened the windows today to air out the house, and I’ve killed two bees! Last week we had high temps in the upper 20s and low 30s. How are there still bees alive??
I’m not too concerned about it; just find it fascinating. None of us have ever been stung by a bee, so I don’t if we’re allergic or not. I just am curious about this. Is it common for bees to be flying around in the middle of winter? Is there a way to find out where the hive is?
Ok, make that three bees. Just swatted another one!LinabeanParticipant
We have had bees/wasps make their nests between the siding and insulation of our house a couple times. then they find little holes etc. to crawl through into the window panes and eventually into the house. Sometimes they also like it right under and inside the window panes as well. maybe the warm weather combined with the possibility of a warm nest spot (ie. your house) has made them “wake up ” earlier than they should have. You may also want to check any crawl spaces or attic spaces or rafters as well. My grandparents had a horrible time getting rid of wasps in the rafters and attic! If you see another one, don’t kill it right away, spy on it first! Lure it into a false sense of security so that it will unwittingly lead you back to it’s nest! Hehehe! But seriously, that’s what I had to do in order to find out about the nest in the siding. It seemed to crawl right through the window ledge and disappear into the wall! Creeeeepy!
You may also want to find out for sure if they are bees or wasps or yellow jackets etc so that you know exactly what you are dealing with before you go on the offensive and plan your attack! It will make a difference in how best to deal with the issue if they are in your house somehow.Karen SmithModerator
There are a couple of possibilities as to why you are seeing bees with your warm up. Either it hasn’t been cold enough to kill the whole hive of bees or the queens are coming out of hibernation because of the warmer temperatures. Some types of bees will gather in the hive and hover around the queen to keep her (and each other) warm. Eventually, cold temperatures will kill off most of the bees. My memory is a little fuzzy right now so I can’t give you too much information about how it all works. I do know that some insects are capable of hibernating, others overwinter in the larval stage, some will bury themselves in the ground, and I’m sure there are other ways that insects survive the winter.
As for finding the hive, you can follow a bee and see where it goes. If what you are seeing are queens, you will not find a hive because they are searching for new hive locations.
Warmer than normal temperatures always brings some insects out even in the winter. I have seen bumble bees in northern Illinois in February when we get a few days of unseasonably warm temperatures.
I hadn’t thought of a nest in our insulation!! I’m pretty sure there isn’t anything under the house in that crawl space. My husband has been spending quite a bit of time underneath our house, replacing plumbing, and I’m sure he would have said something if he had noticed a bee hive or wasp nest. I am sure they’re bees. I have been stung by wasps 4 times, so I am not only terrified of them, I’m also very familiar with what they look like! If there are bees in between walls/insulation or in the attic, how do you go about safely getting rid of them? While I would love to have our own hive someday, harvesting honey out of my attic is not ideal. ha!
I don’t know what a queen bee looks like…something I’ll have to look up. Of the 3 I killed, they all looked the same and were about the same size, so I’m pretty sure my odds aren’t good that I’ve killed 3 queens today. We had some bees fly in the open windows this fall, and it perplexed me then too. I just assumed that the cold weather would kill them, and, problem solved. Guess not…
I’m not seeing the bees flying around the outside of the house, so I’m thinking Linabean might be on to something. Eek!suzukimomParticipant
Already said…. but,
my dad worked for a beekeeper a couple of years when he was a teenager… Many bees (if not all?) do winter by getting into a great big ball of bees… the ones on the outside get cold… and work to force themselves futher in the ball (pushing some others to the outside. Weaker bees end up on the outside until they die from the cold… I think my dad said that about 1/2 of the bees die in a hive…
I would definately think that you have a hive very nearby…. and as said… possibly in the house…
So, the million-dollar question is: If we have a hive in the attic/insulation/between the walls, HOW DO WE GO ABOUT SAFELY REMOVING IT?LinabeanParticipant
First you need to find out where it is. Different locations call for different measures. We had to take off a portion of our insulation and spray it with a type of foam. I personally don’t like using any chemicals, esspecially for things I am doing in my home, but at the time we didn’t know of any other way and wasps are very aggressive! We also had babies at the time and needed them gone pronto! Anyway, after we sprayed in the insulation we sealed off the area really well until they were all dead. If it is in a very difficult spot you may need to do some research. I don’t know of the natural way to get rid of these, though.Doug SmithKeymaster
I remember coming home from college one summer many years ago and finding my dad in the back yard with a shop vac attached to enough pvc pipe to reach near the roof of our two-story house. There was a bee’s nest in a spot that was nearly impossible to get access to. He would turn on the vac and it would grab the bees as they flew in or out. His logic was that if they couldn’t get food into the hive they would die out.
I think he just liked entertaining himself by sitting in his lawn chair counting the bees sucked in to see if the number went down from day to day.
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