Question for Bee Keepers

so lucky

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The last few days the honey bees have been downright obnoxious around our yard. They have taken over most of the hummingbird feeders, and also a dish I put out full of sugar water. It seems to be thousands although probably only hundreds. It doesn't seem like they are thirsty, as they ignore the water dishes for the critters. They buzz my head and land on my (dark color) clothing. Even pretty far away from the feeders. So I am wondering if there could be a wild hive somewhere near, or if they are anxious this time of year? No natural feed? (I have a garden full of flowers) Not killer bees or murder hornets, not yellow jackets. Plain honey bees with an attitude. Any idea what's going on?
 

Trish Stretton

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Well you definitely have at least one hive out there somewhere. If this is something different, it may be that a swarm has just moved in. Thats when a hive splits- the Queen along with some or most of the bees leave the original hive and seek out a new home leaving the new queen to continue at the original spot. Fall does not sound like a good time to be swarming cos they need time to get set up for winter....or you have a new hives that have been moved into your area by a beekeeper.

Bees do sound rather loud when they are in a feeding frenzy, which is what it sounds like and sugar syrup will do that.
i would stop refilling the feeders. When they start emptying out, the bees will know that the food source is drying up and they should calm down and move on to your flowers. not too sure what you can do for the birds after that cos as soon as you fill up the feeders again, the bees will hit it hard.

The reason for this is that they are attracted to volume- sugar syrup has a higher volume of forage than flowers can produce- this is also why they say to plant alot of a type of flower if you want bees to work them, one of each just wont interest them. I call it the critical mass.

If you want to try to figure out where the bees are coming from, you can try watching for the direction they fly off too as they will want to get home once they have filled up. One direction will tell you that there is an apiary that way. If they are going off in more than one direction, you have multiple hives around you.
 

flowerbug

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we have problems with honey bees swarming our birdbaths, we don't put out sugar water as that just brings ants and other problems.

why are you putting out a dish of sugar water? that seems to be the issue as far as i'm concerned as the bees could not get enough volume out of the humming bird feeders (or get in to feed from them at all as i think they are designed to keep things out that don't belong). so stop the dish feeding and see if that helps.
 

so lucky

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we have problems with honey bees swarming our birdbaths, we don't put out sugar water as that just brings ants and other problems.

why are you putting out a dish of sugar water? that seems to be the issue as far as i'm concerned as the bees could not get enough volume out of the humming bird feeders (or get in to feed from them at all as i think they are designed to keep things out that don't belong). so stop the dish feeding and see if that helps.
I thought the dish would take the pressure off the feeders, but they seem to like the feeders better.
 

so lucky

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I do have one feeder that the bees hardly try to feed on. It has little tubular things coming out of the middle of the yellow flower. I can try letting the other feeders go empty for a while. Hummers aren't getting to feed from them much anyway. Thanks for the responses, y'all!
 

Prairie Rose

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Maybe you are in a nectar dearth? Old beekeeping mentor used to tell me that you can tell when bees need fed when you put out a saucer of sugar water and they find it within two hours. It's getting closer to winter, and they are getting more desperate for food before it gets too cold for them to forage. Last year I had bees swarm my car every time I would sit out it in on lunch with a can of juice or soda. Even with the windows closed, there were always four or five bees trying to get in.

Did they stop swarming your feeders?
 

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