I recently posted that I was so pleased to have a bee’s nest set up in an old bird house. My neighbour two days ago pointed it out to me offering to get rid of the problem. He denies it but from a thriving hive we now have dead bees and an empty box. I am so very very upset.
Hi Rachel, he hasn’t got someone to move the swarm has he? Just a thought, or are there lots of dead bees- can’t believe anyone would be so idiotic as to destroy them, but some people have strange ideas
I think you should have moved it as soon as he said he’d get rid of the ‘problem’.
Your neighbour clearly has no idea how important the saving of the Bee is for the growing of food even if it wasn’t due to him.
So so sorry this has happened.
Oh no!!! How awful!
As I had asked him not to touch them it didnt occur to me to move the hive, I think thats why I am so angry. I was so thrilled to have them in the garden too
My first thought was similar to Sarah’s that a honey bee swarm had taken up temporary residence in your bird house (get out of the weather, have a bit of a rest and feed in your garden - like a service station for bees) and when they found it lacking as a permanent home moved on to find a more suitable abode.
You can make yourself a solitary / masonary bee nest by wedging lots of shortish lengths of bamboo canes into a wooden frame - just keep it out of view of the neighbour - mine stands on a couple of bricks hiding in the stems of my bay and sage bushes. You won’t see many bees in one go but they will appreciate it and so will other bugs (mine has on occasion been taken over by lady birds).
Was it a Tree Bumblebee nest? My mum had one in an old bird box. The males would swarm around the outside of the hole waiting for the queen to emerge so they could mate. It looked quite dramatic, but all the males are stingless. I wonder if the queen came out and the males all died? I’ve been trying to find out for you, but I can’t seem to see what happens to the males.
Here’s some info on the Tree Bees though - https://www.opalexplorenature.org/treebumblebee
Thank you @JoSara for the link, our bee’s had the band on the back rather than the front, and were more yellow than orange. I am trying to tweak a photo we took so you can see.
Thank you Sasha we will make another home based on your idea and thank you
If you don’t like it ,kill it,and they accuse others of ignorance? Let’s see how long they would survive in a world without bees,as I once saw posted “When we go we are taking you with us”. Bees are so critical now they should be protected by law. And they harmed him how?
A piece of advice I was given by the bee keepers at the allotment was to make sure that there are plenty of winter flowering plants to give bees a source of food year round - I’ve opted for hellebores in my garden but ivy is supposed to be another good one (plenty of that at the allotment).
It’s the old-fashioned way of thinking. People who grew up between the wars regarded any insect in their gardens as public enemy number one (probably because of rationing).
Sales of ant-powder and many other kinds of insecticide (including DDT) were marketed to gardeners who wanted something akin to the front cover of a book by Dr D. G. Hessayon with a manicured lawn and herbacious borders on three sides. Dr Hessayon helpfully lists all of the myriad chemicals that can be used to finish of just about anything that might be daring to live in your garden.
Fortunately the message that is coming from current experts in the field, such as Monty Don, bears no resemblance at all to this, but sometimes attitudes take time to die. Pity there isn’t a chemical for that, eh?
For the sake of your relationship as neighbours it would be worth finding out which type of bee was in the nest box. Bumble bee colonies will typically only live for one season anyway and as Sasha points out solitary bees have a completely different lifestyle to the other types of bee. If they were honey bees, however, that would be a very sad loss.
So sorry to hear about your resident bees
It’s just awful to think someone may have killed them.
It could be as @JoSara mentioned. I saw a programme once where a natural occurrence happened within the nest and many bees died. It was something about the Queen bee leaving.
They are beautiful creatures and so important to nature and the environment.
Best of luck with your new bee box
I had a bee floating in my toilet last year, probably flew in through the window. So, I got it out and it looked quite wet, so I put it on a chair we have in our garden, it was quite late in the day, it was moving about slowly.
Next morning I went to look for it, and found it on our back wall sunning itself. So I gave it a bit of honey which I managed to put right in front of it, it seemed to eat this honey for a while and then it flew away. It was a large bumble bee type. We also had a solitary bee which kept flying in and out of a hole in the brickwork near our front door, it was a very busy bee, but we had lots of flowers in our front garden at that house.
So love your bees, they won’t sting unless they feel threatened.
I have put two shallow dishes out with watered down honey in them, and have made a start at collecting sticks to make another temporary shelter. I am not going to clean out the old blue tit box but have spoken to my neighbour expressing my disappointment at the bee’s sudden demise. I dont want to fall out with them so didnt push the point.
Thank you all for understanding my upset, I have had three bee’s feeding from the honey.
I have loads of bees in the back builders tip of a yard and loads in my mini orchard/veggie garden. They love the lavender, the wild for get me nots and something that likes daubled shade with pinkie purple flower and beigings with the letter P.
I’ve often had them buzzing away right next to me as I’m working. They ignore me as they are more interested in the flowers
Oh that is such a shame I love bees rescued one out of the bird bath one year and it happily flew off a few hours later.
Love to watch them work on the flowers.
If someone came onto my property and splatted Charlotte,my false widow I think I might lose it and splat them,I think you have restrained yourself well given the audacity of what was done.
Is this actually on your property Rachel? As surely if this did happen then he’s trespassing?
But, yes, some people just don’t understand the importance of bees and our environment.
Have you thought about asking your neighbour? It would be awful to think he had killed them when he hadn’t. Sounds like there are a few possibilities at to what happened to the bees so maybe ask him?