Unusual Beehaviour

We recently were lucky enough to have a "mess" of honey bees (we think) claim the nook of a CrapeMyrtle Tree in our backyard. I noticed them Saturday morning while building a compost bin in the backyard out by the alley. At first I thought it was a bird's nest because I saw this brown glob under the leaves. After a little closer inspection I discovered they were bees and went to tell my husband and the guy friend that was helping me build the composter. Well, my friend got all freaked out and thought they were killer bees and wanted me to call someone to have them removed. We were using drills and saws and making all kinds of noise that day about five feet from the nest. After researching on the Web a little I don't think they were Africanized bees or I think the buzzing of the power tools would have annoyed them to attack. Anyway, they stayed over the weekend and we all speculated on what they were doing and why. Sunday night they were gone. Now, there are about four bees, I saw two today on the same spot on the tree where there were hundreds only yesterday. I have never seen this many bees close up and I wondered if the Beekeepers out there could advise on what they might have been doing and why. Thanks for all your wonderful information and help! -- Rita Garland, TX 7a-8b
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snipped-for-privacy@nomailplease.com says... :) We recently were lucky enough to have a "mess" of honey bees (we think) :) claim the nook of a CrapeMyrtle Tree in our backyard. I noticed them :) Saturday morning while building a compost bin in the backyard out by the :) alley. At first I thought it was a bird's nest because I saw this brown :) glob under the leaves. After a little closer inspection I discovered they :) were bees and went to tell my husband and the guy friend that was helping me :) build the composter. Well, my friend got all freaked out and thought they :) were killer bees and wanted me to call someone to have them removed. We :) were using drills and saws and making all kinds of noise that day about five :) feet from the nest. After researching on the Web a little I don't think :) they were Africanized bees or I think the buzzing of the power tools would :) have annoyed them to attack. Anyway, they stayed over the weekend and we :) all speculated on what they were doing and why. Sunday night they were :) gone. Now, there are about four bees, I saw two today on the same spot on :) the tree where there were hundreds only yesterday. I have never seen this :) many bees close up and I wondered if the Beekeepers out there could advise :) on what they might have been doing and why. :) Thanks for all your wonderful information and help! :) -- :) Rita :) Garland, TX :) 7a-8b :) :) :) :) As the colony grows they will "swarm" .. the old queen will move on with a bunch of followers. They will find a place to hold up for a few days while a suitable location for the hive to set up then they will set up residence in the new home.
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It is said that the early bird gets the worm,
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it sounds like a queen was ousted from an older hive and when she fled from the older queen, her entourage followed her, causing a swarm. If you'd been able to look inside the cluster of bees, you'd have discovered they were protecting a larger queen. Mother of all their children in their new hive. Holler at BeeCrofter, he'll either shoot me down on this one or confirm it. They've now found themselves a home somewhere. Shame you didn't have some boxes for them to move into. But you're right, Africanized bees would have attacked when the power tools were in use. Consider yourself blessed. An alarming proportion of our European honey bees have died horrible deaths thanks to the Asian mite and Asian fungus that causes deformaties. The bees that were left behind will either find the rest of the new hive or die soon.
madgardener

me
five
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The first swarm of the season contains the old queen who will be replaced after they get settled in their new home. Swarms after that will have young queens produced that spring. Most swarms are gentle the first few days they cluster on a branch but when they run short of food get a little testy. A beekeeper will generally knock them into a box or bucket or get them to march into a hive box with drawn combs. Around here folks think I am some kind of wizard because the last time they watched me hive a swarm I was in a t shirt and flip flops and knocked them into a copy paper box. In an area with known africanized honey bees it is better to err on the side of caution, they move along in a few days without being hassled. Africanized honey bees are nothing special they just have not had their defensive qualities bred out of them yet. The same idiots who call a foot of snow the storm of the century will hype them as "killer bees" to make sure they can sell enough advertising.
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Sounds like a swarm. They had outgrown their old home, created a new queen and split, looking for new digs.
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