Bee Informed

Definitions

  • Swarm — a group of bees hanging on a wall or tree limb not connected to a hive but that are in the process of looking for a new home
  • Hive — any location where bees have established honeycomb and are adding brood, pollen, or honey
  • Brood — bee larva — looks like white worms until they pupate and become bees
  • Pollen — collected from flowering plants , used as food for bees
  • Honey — nectar that has been gathered by bees from flowering plants which has been converted through enzymes inside the bee and is stored in honeycomb
  • CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder) — the occurrence in recent years which has seen bee populations both in the U.S. and worldwide decline at an alarming rate (2010 USDA progress report on CCD — PDF)

 

Q & A

Q: Why do you need to save your bees?

  • Bees are a massive pollinator of our gardens’ flowers and fields
  • They provide pollination for a massive amount of food production in our country
  • We live in a primarily agricultural area
  • Bees have been in a state of severe decline for the past several years

 

Q: Why are there bees in my yard?

  • Bees are interested in a hollow space away from the weather.  This can take the form of chimneys, under-shed floors, any hollow wall tree trunks, or even irrigation boxes

 

Q: Why do I need to open up my wall to get the honeycomb out?

  • Wax and honey both melt at very low temperatures; if bees aren’t there to maintain hive temperature then the wax and honey melts and runs, staining walls floors and ceilings — this invites mice, ants, and other insects into the area to scavenge and set up their homes in the void previously occupied by the bees

 

Q: Can I just seal up the hole the bees are using?

  • The bees will chew through foam fillers. They will also start looking for alternative ways to exit the hole. If their hole is in a house they will commonly come through light fixtures and wall outlets if they can see daylight.  They will also chew through thin wood or dry wall to exit a closed  hive