Bee swarm

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8 years 1 month ago #520029 by Farmersden
Bee swarm was created by Farmersden
We have heard a sound like an engine working in the distance for a couple of weeks. Out walking the dog yesterday realised it was coming from a willow tree just outside our boundary fence. There were bees everywhere. I know next to nothing about bees.. so didnt stay to look too closely. :unsure: Couple of questions: Are the bees likely to stay in the willow tree or do swarms move around alot? Do they present any danger to us, stock, dogs etc? Should we notify anyone; this land is a bare block occasionally leased for grazing?

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8 years 1 month ago #520032 by Aquila
Replied by Aquila on topic Bee swarm
Nzbees.net has a swarm collection area that local beekeepers keep an eye on. Put a post there and someone will be in touch. If you were in mid Canterbury I'd be keen to come and deal with it for you. They won't move on if they've been there a day or two

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8 years 1 month ago #520033 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Bee swarm
You're absolutely sure they're bees and not wasps? A swarm usually hangs on something and usually only for a day or two before moving on. Then they'll look like this. this .

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8 years 1 month ago - 8 years 1 month ago #520035 by Aquila
Replied by Aquila on topic Bee swarm
Wasps won't swarm and settle in a tree, they'll find a hole and move in. Wasps breed queens at this time of year, they'll find somewhere to winter up then grow a colony over spring and summer.
Last edit: 8 years 1 month ago by Aquila.

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8 years 1 month ago #520040 by muri
Replied by muri on topic Bee swarm
It is not necessarily a swarm but a working hive.
The hoverfly are also very active at the moment and look like bees but are darker and smaller and with only 4 wings.
My willow trees are covered with bees at the moment and they are happily strutting their stuff there and enjoying whatever fodder the tree is providing. Usually they make a bee line [oh sorry] for the willow in early spring as its one of the first to produce masses of flowers at the start of their working season
I would probably just leave them well alone
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8 years 1 month ago #520043 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Bee swarm

Aquila wrote: Wasps won't swarm and settle in a tree, they'll find a hole and move in. Wasps breed queens at this time of year, they'll find somewhere to winter up then grow a colony over spring and summer.

Some of the largest wasp nests up here have been found in trees. They don't always nest underground. And my point was really that if you hadn't gone very close and saw insects coming out of a tree in general, you might not have noticed that they were all emerging from the ground at its base. Or the tree could be mostly horizontal ... or any number of other possibilities.

For example: diggersvalley.co.nz/pages/Week19July2003.htm#waspnest

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8 years 1 month ago #520044 by viki
Replied by viki on topic Bee swarm
we have tons of wasps around our willow trees at the moment. When clearing debris from the fence by the river found two inground nests.. both of us stung

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8 years 1 month ago #520045 by Aquila
Replied by Aquila on topic Bee swarm
Wasps also fly in Zigzags, bees fly straight
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8 years 1 month ago #520046 by DzigNZ
Replied by DzigNZ on topic Bee swarm
Ahh reminds me that I 'found' a wasp nest over the weekend. It's a nest in the ground, in some very long grass.
I walked right over top of it without noticing until they all started buzzing loudly behind me. Cue running for cover!

Usually I'd have no problems dealing to them, but given they're under the cover of long grass, I may need to call someone in with half a clue :P

20 acres of californian thistles in the sunny WBOP

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8 years 1 month ago #520048 by Aquila
Replied by Aquila on topic Bee swarm
Where in the country are you dzignz? I deal to Wasp nests too
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8 years 1 month ago #520050 by DzigNZ
Replied by DzigNZ on topic Bee swarm
Western Bay of Plenty - bit far from you :)

20 acres of californian thistles in the sunny WBOP

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8 years 1 month ago #520059 by Aquila
Replied by Aquila on topic Bee swarm
Yeah unless you want to pay for my travel......

Again jump on NZbees.net and find a handy local, Plenty up that way

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8 years 1 month ago #520099 by muri
Replied by muri on topic Bee swarm

Aquila wrote: Wasps also fly in Zigzags, bees fly straight


Thats a really useful bit of info thanks as I have a few wasp nests but today was going to take cuttings off the willow and noticed heaps of flying insects.
So, instead of going close i studied their flying patterns and yes it was a zig zag so I didnt have to go close.
Not sure what it is with willow at this time of the year that attracts them? any ideas anyone. And its not paper wasps

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8 years 1 month ago #520100 by tonic
Replied by tonic on topic Bee swarm
Our willow trees have been covered in wasps all summer, they are after the honeydew from the Giant Willow Aphids. Our lovely willows branches are all grey from the mildew they cause, it is obvious once the leaves fall.

I have watched the wasps, ours fly pretty straight without any obvious zigzag, and we have them coming from three very different directions so we seem to be supporting three wasp nests at least! Last year it was only one and we found it, this year they are coming over from neighbours, and from further away so we haven't been able to find them.

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8 years 1 month ago #520108 by Stikkibeek
Replied by Stikkibeek on topic Bee swarm

muri wrote:

Aquila wrote: Wasps also fly in Zigzags, bees fly straight


That's a really useful bit of info thanks as I have a few wasp nests but today was going to take cuttings off the willow and noticed heaps of flying insects.
So, instead of going close i studied their flying patterns and yes it was a zigzag so I didn't have to go close.
Not sure what it is with willow at this time of the year that attracts them? any ideas anyone. And its not paper wasps

Probably after honey dew to store for the winter, or, if the willow has that willow aphid on it, then the wasps may be after the dew they excrete. Most wasps build their nests with masticated fibre however, so even if German wasps they could be harvesting willow bark for their paper nest.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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