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I understand bees are important for pollination of fruit trees, but I have a lot. What are my options? As you can tell I know nothing about bees.

Could a set up an empty beehive? Will it draw the bees to use it and then these bees can be taken away by someone who WANTS bees? Is there a reason I would NOT want to do this?

Any thoughts at all about minimizing the amount of bees that gather around my fruit trees?
 

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You have a problem that many of us would love to have... The bees coming to your fruit trees are not looking for new homes. An empty hive is unlikely to interest them.

What is your reasoning behind wanting to thin the population? Is someone in the home allergic to stings?
 

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Try contacting a local bee-keeping club. If you call pest control they will often have contact info for area bee keepers who capture swarms or can re-locate a hive if you have one that is close by.
 

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Honeybees do not sting when foraging. If you don't hurt them, you can catch them in your hand and they won't sting. Just enjoy having free pollination and 3 times as many apples as you would have without the bees.
Now that you mention it, you're right. The shear volume is intimidating. It never occurred to me the bees had a more benevolent personality while foraging among the fruit trees. I was simply remembering the perceived danger of a single bee in my childhood and extrapolating that to the abundance of bees in my fruit trees. Perhaps I should step back and learn more about the nature of bees in general before I make any decisions about them.

Thanks to all of you who posted for your help.
 

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To me the honeybee overall seems to be very docile. We have 2 hives at my home and I have yet to be stung even when opening up the hives and doing things which would irritate them. They have so much work to do and really don't live very long. Very fascinating creature.

To capture or keep them you would need to find their hive and then transfer the queen in order to get them to stay.
 

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I wish I had your problem...
 

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Mason orchard bee's are your answer. Google them. Easy to attract just place nesting reeds close to your trees. they do a much better job than honey bees, no pest, no disease problems. They are native to USA.
 

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Honeybees do not sting when foraging. If you don't hurt them, you can catch them in your hand and they won't sting. Just enjoy having free pollination and 3 times as many apples as you would have without the bees.
this I can tell you they donot sting unless hurt ,, as a 4 and 5 year old kid and all the rest of my life it was a game to see how many I could catch a day ,,, I showed my kids and grand kids very young how to catch them ,, and now they just go right to my hives and pick them up from the hive ..
 

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If you have fruit setting and you are thinking of harvesting/foraging, I would have to wonder if they are actually honeybees??? Honeybees arent really attracted by fruit itself but yellow jackets and such are. Honeybees around here stick to flowering items and you may need to smash a few nests. This summer they were really bad at my house for some reason so I eliminated anything that might be attracting them and they lessened. I thnk they have their value but if my children cannot go outside without getting stung the population needs reduction
 
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