Tag Archives: bees

Unwanted Visitors

It must be the year of the bees and I’m not talking honeybees!

This black hornet nest was built on the end of our satelite dish arm! I took four nights of heavy spraying to get rid of them.
This new nest was about 20 yards from the satellite bees in a maple tree and they are very strong. They are out of the path we use so we won’t bother them.

This angus heifer walks by them to get water but the cattle know its there and travel 10-20 feet away from the stinging bees.
About 15 feet out from and about seven feet higher in the tree this third hive and it is another black hornet nest!
It appears to be broken up or torn but the bees are adding to their nests and probably filling it with baby hornets.

This year we are covered up with small and large bumblebees, sand hornets, black hornets and now the yellow jackets are showing up in full force. The sand hornets are trying to peel the bark off of my three year old lilac bush and I’m afraid they’re going to kill it. Along with the yellow jackets, the sand hornets are chasing our hummingbirds away from their feeders. We tried to pick a few peaches this morning and all the bees were after the fruit. Sand hornets will eat big holes in the fruit and the other bees takeover the rest of the ruined fruit!

We had 43* yesterday morning and 47* this morning and I sure hope the bees leave soon so we can work and enjoy these cool days that have barely made it to the mid 70’s.

I almost forgot these little beauties! Our hive died again this spring and in May a wild swarm came to live in the hive and over the hot weeks we had they more than tripled their numbers. This picture was taken in late afternoon when it was too hot to be in the hive and they laid out fanning each other and cooling off before going back into the have shortly after sunset. We got seven frames of honey from them and it’ll be wonderful to have our own honey for meals and homemade bread this winter.

Hornets_The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Cooler weather is good and upon us and we’ve actually had a fire in the woodstove several nights to take out the chill and dampness.  Fall has crept in on us with the trees changing color and the shadows falling on the ground remind me of Halloween.  Pumpkins everywhere we go and bales of straw.  Scarecrows sitting in every nook and cranny!

With fall come the acts of nature that we overlook until you almost walk into it!  By this I mean, bee nests and I walked right under this one several times before actually seeing it!

I walk along this path several times a week as do the heifers when going to water.

Can you see anything hanging from the tree?  My first encounter was in July and I walked through that path about six times one looking for little chicks in distress because they couldn’t find their mom.  I never saw a thing while walking but that afternoon I was in the laundry room folding clothes and looked out the window and there hung a hornet’s nest the size of a volleyball!

It’s now about 18 to 20 inches long and about 15 inches thick!!!

We didn’t want to destroy them because as long as you leave them alone hornets are good!  They catch thousands of houseflies!!  That’s the GOOD!

The BAD is if I had walked into their nest and made them mad!!  I would have been stung several times before realizing what was happening!  The UGLY is those insects are black, big and build onto that nest all summer.  It’s huge now!

During the day the hornets are flying in and out of it and there are guard hornets marching all over it to protect the hive.

When I walked under it in July it was about seven feet off the ground. Now it’s so heavy and hangs about three feet off the ground.

I’ve found a new path around it so I don’t disturb them!

Along with the hornets we’re seeing lots of bumblebee’s which have a nest in the ground in my rose garden.  The rose garden is a mess now because I can’t get in it to weed.  The yellow jackets and sand hornets are all over the apples in the orchards but we haven’t found their nests yet.  All of the bees make great pollinators but  they do have an ugly and  mean side!!!