To Bee or not to Be

Know the bees

  • Bee-hive is a very good environmental indicator – as it indicates pollen and humidity in the surrounding. These may be present either in your balcony or neighbours’ balcony or in general in surroundings in form of flowering plants and water. If conditions are right, beehive will keep forming and these are not harmful bees , generally they stay in their hive and do not hassle humans.
  • If you go outside and seem to be dived and “pinged” by bees you should get away. Walk away slowly without swatting. Take shelter. They “ping” or dive bomb you when you get too close. It’s the first step before they sting in many cases.
  • Swarms sometimes seem to appear out of the blue. Just because it wasn’t there yesterday doesn’t mean you don’t have 20,000 bees today.
  • The pollination from bees are an important economical factor for fruit farmers.
  • Typically bees do not bite unless they are provoked or attacked by some birds like eagles(which is very rare here). In my opinion, unless these bees are close to balconies or around kids area or within the reaching distance of humans, we can leave them.
  • If they are within a reaching distance of human, we can try to smoke them. Of course, they will go nearby and try to build the hive again. Once they build the hive in one place, there will be bee pheromone in that area which attracts other bee colonies and some other colony may come and start building the hive in the same place.
  • So, after smoking them and removing the hive (and after they go away), we need to spray some pesticide/some chemical so that they don’t come again in that area. “
  • The bees will not stop coming. We will just have to guide them to build a hive in a place that will not bother anyone.
  • They won’t harm anyone unless provoked. You can water your plants kept in same balcony every day without any hassle.
  • We humans need patience and love for nature. Every living being has the right to live as we do. Unfortunately many of us amidst of our hectic schedule forget the law of nature. It is very easy to kill bees and get rid of them, but we fail to understand we will be ultimate sufferers.

If you want to get rid of the hive, try one of these approaches.

Peppermint spray

Take a bucket of water. Mix peppermint spray and keep it below the honey comb. The bees will leave the comb as they can’t take the smell.

Dhoop method

Put “Dhoop” or “Incense” right underneath the hive (say at a 6 to 8 feet  distance) in the evening and see to it that there is low-intensity smoke for few hours regularly. Bees do not like smoke. The method of smoking them with high intensity sudden smoke removes them but they keep coming back for what they have left behind – or at least what their instincts tell them since they fled by sudden smoke they left behind their eggs, honey, etc. When you put low intensity smoke in the area of bee-hive regularly, it indicates to them that this is not a fit surrounding for them to make hive. And in case if there is already a hive present, bees work on sucking up all honey and some wax before flying away en-mass to form hive in  a more suitable location. And when you see that remaining dry hive is without any bees for a few days, you can remove it. There would not be any honey in it. It would be a dry comb.

Light method

Put light (ideally direct sun-light or reflect light with mirror) on the hive continuously. Generally, hives are formed away from direct sun-light since bees do not want to dry up the honey. So with a reflector mirror if you arrange for direct sun-light on the hive, they will get the message and relocate their hive with their honey elsewhere.

Box Trap Method

Get a cardboard box, about medium size. Buy some sticky traps and place them inside. Take the center of a few flowers, (pollen works best) and sprinkle on the sticky traps. Cut a hole, about 3 inches around, just enough for those bees to come charging in. Try pouring some honey on the sticky traps as well, to lure more bees. Place the cardboard box close to the hive, about 5-10 feet away. Wait. Pretty soon, many of the bees will be stuck in the box, and you can call someone to haul them away. Use extreme caution as many bees will still be alive and angry. Don’t go near the box.



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