Bees in weird places...

Prairie Rose

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I only see the occasional honeybee on my property (usually checking out my empty hives), but I have a thriving population of carpenter and bumblebees. Turned on one of the outdoor water faucets earlier this week, and after the water had run a solid minute, it spat out three huge carpenter bees. Soaking wet, and very confused. Almost as confused as I am....how in the heck do bees get in a water line, and how do I stop it?

Random bonus information...several members of the household are extremely sensitive to pesticide/herbicide type chemicals...and two of us are allergic to bees. As in it's a trip to the emergency room for every sting.

Help!
 

SprigOfTheLivingDead

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I only see the occasional honeybee on my property (usually checking out my empty hives), but I have a thriving population of carpenter and bumblebees. Turned on one of the outdoor water faucets earlier this week, and after the water had run a solid minute, it spat out three huge carpenter bees. Soaking wet, and very confused. Almost as confused as I am....how in the heck do bees get in a water line, and how do I stop it?

Random bonus information...several members of the household are extremely sensitive to pesticide/herbicide type chemicals...and two of us are allergic to bees. As in it's a trip to the emergency room for every sting.

Help!
They probably climbed up the pipe sensing a water source and were hanging of for dear life up there until they got popped out.

That being said, I get that people are allergic to bees, but how many times have you ever got stung? And actually needed a hospital? I hear a lot of people say this but I honestly know just two people that have ever needed a hospital from a sting. Bees don't want to sting you; they're nectarivores and just want some nectar and pollen and couldn't care less about you unless you start swinging and attacking it.

Wasps, however, are just agressive assholes that are actually attracted to the food we consume and aren't afraid to throw down a few rounds with you if the opportunity presents itself.
 

Prairie Rose

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Yes I do know somebody who has needed a hospital to get over a bee sting! Me!

I used to be a beekeeper, until the allergy popped up. The entire first year, I was getting stung once or twice every time I worked my hives...usually while I was closing them and someone would get caught in my clothes. I was a beginner beekeeper, and learning how to work my hives and read my bees, I was getting stung on a weekly basis. I had pretty severe localized reactions that lingered forever, and bought myself a full body ventilated bee suit for year two.

I got stung less in year two--about once a month, never when I was wearing the expensive suit, but while I was walking around the yard or in my garden, going out to the car, etc. Every single sting in year two took a trip to the doctor and oral steroids, injected benadryl, and gentle recommendations to get rid of my bees. Each one was progressively worse than the last. The last two put me into anaphylactic shock and took an ER visit...and in one case a nifty ride in an ambulance because I was so bad the doctors wouldn't let me travel the six blocks from the office to the ER on my own, even though I had someone to drive for me.

Neither of my hives made it through the following winter, and I promised my family I wouldn't get any more because of the allergy. I have an appointment set up for a referral to an allergist to see if I can be successfully treated for allergies. I miss my bees. But having those confused carpenter bees pop out in my hands while I was washing a water bucket? When I was wearing no protective gear at all? I about had a heart attack!
 

Ridgerunner

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how in the heck do bees get in a water line, and how do I stop it?
I feel like I know better where you are coming from, at least the why. What kind of faucet do you have? Can you get a fitting with a screen to screw on to stop this? Kitchen faucets often have a screen. You'd probably have to unscrew this fitting whenever you hooked up a hose though you can fill a bucket without unscrewing it.

Obviously bees and other insects can climb in as far as the valve. I don't know what type faucet or where that valve is. I'm surprised it took that long for them to flush out or that you had that many, I thought carpenter bees were solitary nesters? Maybe not all varieties. Good thing you hadn't hooked it up to a hose with a spray head on the far end, you'd be digging bee parts out of that fitting. This is why I usually run water through a hose before I screw on a spray head if the hose has been open, to flush out trash and insects.
 

SprigOfTheLivingDead

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Ha! You were the target market for stings. I guess I never included in my thoughts the few folks I know who keep hives. They certainly get stung a fair amount of times.

Sucls about that forced ambulance ride :(. That's pricey

I've really only gotten stung a few times: once when I stepped on a bumble bee, once when I disturbed a hive I didn't know was there, and then the others were yellow jackets and thus wasps and them being just general assholes looking for a fight.

I hit a yellowjacket nest with a lawnmower once; at least it was a small nest. I recall as a kid the neighbor mowing their lawn and hearing this *CHUNK* and then an "oh ****!!!!" and this tornado of bees taller than all the houses around manifests in their yard and just makes its rounds for a good long time (kid time-frame). I remember them stinging the screen door while we stared outside. My dad said they were stinging the leaves on trees, but I don't recall that. I just recall it was a tornado so thick you couldn't see through it and it was taller than a two story house spinning with anger. I didn't hear that the neighbor was serioualy hurt, so I guess they escaped.
 

Prairie Rose

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@Ridgerunner I was assuming they were climbing up to the closed valve for a drink, but on that faucet the valve isn't that far up the line...there was no room for three bees! One of the guys at work suggested that maybe they had gotten in through the vent line and sucked through when I turned the faucet on. I guess I'm heading up on the roof with a screen the next nice day.

@SprigOfTheLivingDead the ambulance ride was more expensive than the ER visit, I had some major sticker shock on that bill! Up until I became a beekeeper, I had maybe been stung up to ten times my whole life...I had no idea I was actually allergic. Usually got stung because I was out in the yard with no shoes on and stepped on one...but also because there was a hot hive not far from a barn I worked in during high school, and they would get territorial over the water supply.

Before it was all over, I was half afraid to work my bees, just because I couldn't afford any more medical bills!

My dad hit a ground hive nest with his mower once....but the man mows in steel toed boots, full jeans, long-sleeved shirt, hat, gloves, glasses, etc. He was able to walk away with just scrapes and all the stingers stuck in his clothes...but boy was I glad to be inside that day.
 

flowerbug

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Yes I do know somebody who has needed a hospital to get over a bee sting! Me!

I used to be a beekeeper, until the allergy popped up. The entire first year, I was getting stung once or twice every time I worked my hives...usually while I was closing them and someone would get caught in my clothes. I was a beginner beekeeper, and learning how to work my hives and read my bees, I was getting stung on a weekly basis. I had pretty severe localized reactions that lingered forever, and bought myself a full body ventilated bee suit for year two.

I got stung less in year two--about once a month, never when I was wearing the expensive suit, but while I was walking around the yard or in my garden, going out to the car, etc. Every single sting in year two took a trip to the doctor and oral steroids, injected benadryl, and gentle recommendations to get rid of my bees. Each one was progressively worse than the last. The last two put me into anaphylactic shock and took an ER visit...and in one case a nifty ride in an ambulance because I was so bad the doctors wouldn't let me travel the six blocks from the office to the ER on my own, even though I had someone to drive for me.

Neither of my hives made it through the following winter, and I promised my family I wouldn't get any more because of the allergy. I have an appointment set up for a referral to an allergist to see if I can be successfully treated for allergies. I miss my bees. But having those confused carpenter bees pop out in my hands while I was washing a water bucket? When I was wearing no protective gear at all? I about had a heart attack!
why don't you have an epi-pen?

i'm glad i don't react that badly to stings, but if i did i'd have a pen.

also a back up supply of whatever meds are known to help you.

ER visits cost a lot more than an epi-pen.

ok, the other part is examining why you are getting stung so often.

if it is because bees are getting trapped in your clothes then change what you are wearing or button up or something to keep the bees out of your clothes.

if it is because you are moving quickly, swatting them, grabbing or upsetting bees figure out what you are doing and work on changing those behaviors.

i do not keep bees, but there are a lot of bees around here yet i rarely get stung at all. in most cases it is because i didn't see the bee or it is a more aggressive hornet and i didn't know the nest was where i grabbed.

that still comes out to about one sting in every three or four years.

in the gardens i'm usually surrounded by bees and within only a few inches - they don't bother me, i don't bother them.

being as sensitive as you are i would be wearing gloves and layers of coverings which will help keep the more random stings from happening.
 
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Prairie Rose

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I have a script for a pen, but they are stupid expensive even with insurance, and after the first ER visit there weren't any in town to buy. It was very close to the end of the season, so I took a risk and didn't fill it immediately.

The main reason I was getting stung that second year was hive location. Even after careful planning and moving the hive to control their flight path, I still had to walk under it to get to the cars. Every single sting was a result of a bee getting blown off course and tangled in my clothes, or in one case my hair. I am careful when I go out, but I can't layer up like I am going to be gardening just to walk across the yard to go to work. I moved my hives once they were empty, so I shouldn't have to deal with that again.
 

ducks4you

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Yeah, Epipens are like $90/each for one use.
Sorry about your bee troubles!! :hugs
We should puzzle this through. What direction N-S-E-W is your outside water spigot?
Is it in the sun or shade?
Is it surrounded by bushes, or out in the open?
Maybe we can figure out how to discourage them from climbing up into it again.
 

flowerbug

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this has been a strange year so far. i just went around to check out the house to see if any bee/wasp/etc nests were on the eaves. not a single one. i can't recall any year where this has happened before.

i did have a small nest of paper wasps (dark brown) starting on the lid to the propane tank, but that was it.

there are other types of wasps around as usual, but i don't know why so few on the house this year.

perhaps the very late frosts put things behind and they will catch up in a few weeks...
 

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