Sunday, October 5, 2014

A preemptive strike against feral honey bees

We had an emergency situation here yesterday. Who did we call? Batman! The situation was a imminent swarm of feral honey bees about to move in to our nesting box. We noticed quite a few scouts hanging around and really did not want a swarm on our hands. Its happened once before and its quite frightening. Bees are loud and serious when they swarm and if they move in to a nesting box they will sting and kill baby 28s and make their hive. 

We called Joe from Natsync (aka Batman because he loves bats, possums and parrots - in fact all things Australian native). He was here in a flash to rid the box of curious bees armed with his bee suit and ready to unleash his secret weapon! Actually he didn't need the suit for just a few scouts so Quin quickly tried it on!

He took the box down and we found a dead fledgling in it. It was quite a mature one and Joe suspected that it was stung but probably the brothers and sisters had escaped. 

Luckily we had the secret magic bee repellent growing in the chook yard - wormwood! Joe packed it in a little mesh thing and placed it in the box. We put the box a little lower in the tree so in future we can stuff wormwood in the box ourselves next time it attracts the attention of some unwanted bee scouts.

So now our nesting box is all go for another clutch of 28 eggs. We're hopeful. Only a few hours later the box was being inspected by a lovely couple of 28s. I could just hear them chatting to each other. 'It looks lovely inside, Love'. 'Hmm, but its a little low on the tree, Dearest'. 'Yes, but you know, its all about location...'

We hope they move in!

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