This is a photo of a once-lovely-hand-crafted birdhouse. It’s been in our yard for about 15 years….no bird has ever taken up residence in it – although upon returning home from our winter ‘sun’ visit we discovered that it appeared to have been gnarled at…most likely the neighborhood SQUIRREL association was looking for a retreat house. <grrrr>
Below it is our Mason bee house getting it’s usual well behaved renters.
Shortly thereafter we discovered that a hive of bees were ‘squatting’ in the house. So, to keep both squirrels and birds from trying to take over the occupation my guy inserted two (2) screws across the front to keep access only to the bees.
We loved watching the bees going out and coming back home. One day when the temperature rose to 85 (an anomaly for sure in April, in the PNW) a very loud humming could be heard. The worker bees were using their wings to ‘cool’ the Queen…it was awesome. I just stood there for several minutes basking in nature’s response and providing a solution to an overheated lady…we human ladies should be so fortunate to have men stop what they are doing and furiously FAN us into coolness. <as if that would ever happen here!>
We waited and were able to discern/believe that our humble bees are Red-belted Bumblebees, native to Oregon. Hurrah for us…we have native squatters. Yay !
Alas. While we love the idea of having a bee nest in our yard…this particular nest is attached to a pole which is attached to a raised bed…used for vegetables. And we discovered that the bees don’t like being disturbed. Bumping the bed = bumping the pole which angers them – seriously angry swarming bees are NOT good. One got stuck in the collar of my husband’s vest and then stung him getting out. These bees are not aggressive and only sting if trapped…poor thing was trapped. And the raised bed will get bumped…moving the bees is the only option.
We felt trapped. We don’t have an area in our yard that could safely support the hive. We are surrounded by three communal fences – which my spouse maintains. We had just taken down the ONLY large tree that the hive could live on and NOT be disturbed. There are children next door that are too young to understand bees aren’t puppies.
So, I did the only thing I have learned. I posted on Facebook a need for a beekeeper to come remove our bees….because I did NOT want them killed. And since they are not predators like yellow jackets or wasps – they do pollinate.
I got all kinds of referrals. Sadly, they appear to only be interested in HONEYBEES. Seriously? WTH? Without bees that pollinate flowers, which in turn helps flowers bloom, which in turn ‘honeybees’ collect pollen for their honeycombs – where exactly would we be? According to reports of the last several years HONEYBEES have been dying by the hive-full…and helping to maintain the overall bee population would be the next logical pursuit one would think.
I have one referral that looks promising, so my problem of relocating my precious beehive maybe resolved. The bigger question is why more people aren’t concerned about ALL bees. They matter as well.
So, I am starting a movement and if your with me – ‘bee’ proud, ‘bee’ strong and use #allbeesmatter and join me to save all bees. (Except for yellow jackets and wasps – they are carnivores and I am meat-free, so they are just naturally out!)