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Author Topic: a swarm, but not bees!  (Read 4026 times)

Online kathyp

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a swarm, but not bees!
« on: August 27, 2012, 07:51:58 PM »
for two days running about 40 swallows have swooped down in my place for a late afternoon snack.  i think they are fattening up to go south.  darn things get at my bees in the spring and now i have to put up with them at this time of the year!  i have never seen anything quite like it.  Alfred would have new material if he were still alive!!
.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville

Offline pawallinsr

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Re: a swarm, but not bees!
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2012, 08:51:48 PM »
The Swallows have been hear (Spencertown, NY) for about a week. They sit on the power lines there must be at least 500 hundred or more. They feed over the pond in front of the house. Good thing my Bees are in VA.
Peter

Offline LoriMNnice

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Re: a swarm, but not bees!
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2012, 10:10:55 PM »
I have the same thing happening, the feral cats love it they snag a few  :)

Offline JP

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Re: a swarm, but not bees!
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2012, 11:03:55 PM »
Hey Kathy, that's one way to make a split.  :-D

Fire up the pellet gun yet?  ;)


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Online kathyp

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Re: a swarm, but not bees!
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2012, 11:26:05 PM »
chris did that yesterday.  ever try to hit a swallow with a pellet gun?   :-D   it was entertaining.  i think that if they come back tomorrow and i catch them at it, i'll pull out the 20 gauge and have a go at it.  i don't think swallows are protected??
.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville

Offline BlueBee

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Re: a swarm, but not bees!
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2012, 05:15:20 AM »
i don't think swallows are protected??
Maybe we need some new government rules and regulations :-D

Offline doggonegardener

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Re: a swarm, but not bees!
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2012, 12:29:38 PM »

Offline Sundog

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Re: a swarm, but not bees!
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2012, 12:58:51 PM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barn_Swallow#Parasites_and_predators
"Swallows at their communal roosts attract predators and several falcon species are known to make use of these opportunities. Falcon species confirmed as predators include the Peregrine Falcon...
http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/59/_/Peregrine_Falcon.aspx

Perhaps playing a recording of the falcon will scatter the swallows for you.  I played the one from the url above and my wife's yellow lab woke up and started to run around the room looking for it.

Have fun!

Offline BjornBee

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Re: a swarm, but not bees!
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2012, 04:44:43 PM »
What a great subject for the rant of the month.

I have added some comments to my rant page. If you care to read them, it can be found here at the top of this page: http://www.bjornapiaries.com/beekramblings201112.html

Hope you enjoy.

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Offline duck

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Re: a swarm, but not bees!
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2012, 12:20:59 AM »
triple s... shoot, shovel, shutup.

Offline JackM

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Re: a swarm, but not bees!
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2012, 09:29:30 AM »
Kathy, try one of the nets sold for keeping birds out of trees, run vertical lengths between poles so they can't swoop down.  Or a shotgun will work too
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Offline BlueBee

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Re: a swarm, but not bees!
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2012, 09:30:44 AM »
I wonder if they have internet in the Big House  ;)

Offline Intheswamp

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Re: a swarm, but not bees!
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2012, 10:25:39 AM »
<sigh>  Years ago I erected a 16-gourd Martin rack in the yard.  Each year I have a full house with no vacancies.  They arrive around February 1st and leave around July 4th...most years.  I did not see them targeting my beeyard (200' away) but I'm concerned about possible queen mating flights. :(  Not sure how this is going to work out, but the wife loves the dawn song of the martins and their babblings the rest of the day so they are safe.  There's also barn swallows around that do graze the pasture that I have the bee yard in...we'll see how they work out...  If I decide to raise queens later on I've got the swamp I can always try it at, I guess.  :-\

Ed
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American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

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Online kathyp

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Re: a swarm, but not bees!
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2012, 10:32:01 AM »
BB you sound like a city boy  :-)

i look at my bees as any other livestock on the place.  if something threatens them, it needs to go.  i'd rather not kill things, but the well placed shot is often the solution.  4 or 5 swallows in the spring i can live with. a re-enactment of The Birds, which is what has been going on here, is another thing.

you'll be pleased to know that yesterday only 1/2 a dozen showed up, so it looks like they are moving on.....however, if it's a choice between swallows and my bees, the swallows lose.

.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville

Offline BjornBee

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Re: a swarm, but not bees!
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2012, 11:13:28 AM »
BB you sound like a city boy  :-)

i look at my bees as any other livestock on the place.  if something threatens them, it needs to go.  I'd rather not kill things, but the well placed shot is often the solution.  4 or 5 swallows in the spring i can live with. a re-enactment of The Birds, which is what has been going on here, is another thing.

you'll be pleased to know that yesterday only 1/2 a dozen showed up, so it looks like they are moving on.....however, if it's a choice between swallows and my bees, the swallows lose.




I think you are very confused. City folks are just like you. Kill everything, and try to live in a sterile environment. I am the opposite.

I deal with folks all the time. Kill the bees. Kill the birds. Kill the wildlife coming into the manicured lawns and properties, filled with flowers and edibles. I actually have discussion with homeowners who plant flowers and then complain about bees visiting their property. You propogate a food source, then I suppose kill anything that happens to want to eat them. Bees are not harming the flowers, just as the birds did not harm your hives by taking a few bees, then moving on.

And yes, beekeepers are just like the pool owner. Or the over hyped parents that feel the need to "protect their children" from the hordes of honey bees on their property visiting the clover in the yard.

I am just comparing the homeowner that puts out laced syrup to rid their property of the honey bees, and comparing that to the beekeeper who wants to rid themselves of anything and everything that might be detrimental to their bees.

Not sure why the comparison to city folks. I don't live in the city. But I am good at seeing hypocrisy.

I say more power to the property owners trying to rid themselves of honey bees across the country. I say poison them all. Kill any animal crossing onto your property.

Is that what you want to hear? If I am to support your view of killing every animal that may be perceived as a threat to your bees, then I would certainly hope you back and support homeowners who want nuisance bees visiting pools and their flowers, and perhaps being stepped on by children, completely banned from existing. Homeowners should have the right to kill your bees, as easy as you have the right to kill birds venturing on your property.

There...I support your position.

Shoot away!
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Online kathyp

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Re: a swarm, but not bees!
« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2012, 11:28:00 AM »
you are to young to be so fussy.  i hope i live long enough to see what you are like as an old man   :evil:
.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville

Offline JackM

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Re: a swarm, but not bees!
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2012, 10:02:21 AM »
you are to young to be so fussy.  i hope i live long enough to see what you are like as an old man   :evil:
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Offline ch.cool

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Re: a swarm, but not bees!
« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2012, 01:00:43 PM »
Hi,

I think Bjorn has a good point even he is a bit over the top, but sounds a bit like those cattle farmers they want kill all the wolves in the US and then there are the ones they get some dogs and let the wolves be. Is there not a different method to scare those swallows away. Google "irri tape" or try a plastic owl since it is just for a short time of the year.
But I'm just a hobby beekeeper and love swallows, they bring the Spring up to the north.

ch.cool

Offline carlfaba10t

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Re: a swarm, but not bees!
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2012, 12:14:18 AM »
Well KATHYP, I do believe you got thier attention!  :evil:
Carl-I have done so much with so little for so long i can now do something with nothing!

Offline BjornBee

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Re: a swarm, but not bees!
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2012, 09:03:50 AM »
 :idunno:
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Offline greenbtree

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Re: a swarm, but not bees!
« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2012, 10:44:21 AM »
It should be noted that the birds did move on.  How many bees hatch out a day again?  I'm sure the loss is quickly made up.  It's not like bees haven't been dealing with bird predation for millions of years.  If that many swallows were attacking the bees all season long it would be a different story, but if that many swallows stayed in one location for too long they would quickly eat themselves out of house and home.  I'm not saying that there isn't a situation where deadly force might be appropriate, but I do think that sometimes we are too quick to reach for that solution. As for the queen on mating flight issue - you step up and pay your money and take you chances. As beekeepers I think that there are going to be risks that we just have to face eyes open.  There are going to be some losses.  Not every split is going to take, etc.  Kathyp, the following statement doesn't apply to you, but too often I see people shoot, or poison something not because it is the best thing to do, but because it is the easy thing to do.  Why think of a way and go through the work to get along with or to exclude something when you can just reach for that bottle of poison on the shelf.  Heaven forbid that I should have to adjust my life in any way so others can get along.  There, rant over.
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Offline greenbtree

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Re: a swarm, but not bees!
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2012, 11:17:53 AM »
I also had another thought - if the swallow swarm becomes an annual event at the same time of the year maybe there is something you can do to prepare for next year.  Where in relation to your hives were the swallows snapping up the bees?
"Rise again, rise again - though your heart it be broken, or life about to end.  No matter what you've lost, be it a home, a love, a friend, like the Mary Ellen Carter rise again!"

Offline sterling

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Re: a swarm, but not bees!
« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2012, 06:54:14 PM »
I also had another thought - if the swallow swarm becomes an annual event at the same time of the year maybe there is something you can do to prepare for next year.  Where in relation to your hives were the swallows snapping up the bees?
Like buy two cases of shotgun shells instead of just one. :evil: Cheaper then Dirt is a good place to buy shells off the internet.

Offline BlueBee

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Re: a swarm, but not bees!
« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2012, 07:45:20 PM »
Just don’t fire directly at the domestic drone flying overhead  :-D

Offline AndrewT

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Re: a swarm, but not bees!
« Reply #24 on: September 01, 2012, 11:47:11 AM »
I would venture to say that you are loosing far more bees each season to predators that you never see, and some that you wouldn't even think of.  Just yesterday I saw a Robber fly perched on my trellis, eating a baldfaced hornet that he'd caught.  Life is an everyday gauntlet for the field bee.

You see all those swallows swooping down on your bees and it's right in front of you, but it probably is a drop in the bucket, overall in terms of total losses of bees.  And even so, killing a few swallows, though it might make you feel like you did something about the problem, probably won't make much of a difference either, unless you've got a lot of time on your hands and you're a really good wing-shot (and lax local enforcement of the federal migratory bird act).

Like Bjorn said, it's some kind of human instinct to go out kill all of those things that we perceive as causing us trouble, or costing us money, or maybe just mildly irritating us.  And you just can't convince some that it's far smarter money to take other protective measures.

If you killed everything that ever did harm to one of your bees, that'd be one big pile of dead bugs, animals, and people.
Give a man a fish and he will have dinner.  Teach a man to fish and he will be late for dinner.

Offline sterling

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Re: a swarm, but not bees!
« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2012, 01:19:15 PM »
I would venture to say that you are loosing far more bees each season to predators that you never see, and some that you wouldn't even think of.  Just yesterday I saw a Robber fly perched on my trellis, eating a baldfaced hornet that he'd caught.  Life is an everyday gauntlet for the field bee.

You see all those swallows swooping down on your bees and it's right in front of you, but it probably is a drop in the bucket, overall in terms of total losses of bees.  And even so, killing a few swallows, though it might make you feel like you did something about the problem, probably won't make much of a difference either, unless you've got a lot of time on your hands and you're a really good wing-shot (and lax local enforcement of the federal migratory bird act).

Like Bjorn said, it's some kind of human instinct to go out kill all of those things that we perceive as causing us trouble, or costing us money, or maybe just mildly irritating us.  And you just can't convince some that it's far smarter money to take other protective measures.

If you killed everything that ever did harm to one of your bees, that'd be one big pile of dead bugs, animals, and people.

Does that apply to Vmites and shb also?

Offline BlueBee

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Re: a swarm, but not bees!
« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2012, 02:27:46 PM »
AndrewT is wise.  We just can’t kill everything!  I have noticed some HUGE praying mantises around here since I started keeping bees.  Lots near the hives and they even lay their egg sacs on the hive bodies.  I haven’t seen them in the act of catching a honey bee, but I suspect this is how they are getting so big.  Worker bees don’t live forever and who cares is the predators’ get the fatter slowing moving drones?  The bees the swallows are eating now will be dead by November anyhow; why let the food go to waste.

Offline Sundog

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Re: a swarm, but not bees!
« Reply #27 on: September 01, 2012, 05:54:49 PM »
I have lizards frequenting both of my hives, but I think they eat more ants and roaches that are attracted by the hives and the honey than they do bees.  I see no reason to interfere with Mother Nature.

Have fun!

Offline Intheswamp

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Re: a swarm, but not bees!
« Reply #28 on: September 02, 2012, 11:25:33 AM »
BlueBee...go to the bottom of the page at this link and check out the hummingbird killed by the praying mantis... http://bjornapiaries.com/everydayhappenings.html  ...pretty wild.  All that honey is creating a "super breed" of mantises that will take over Detroit one day!!!....don't say I didn't warn you!!! :-D   But in regards to the "fatter slowing moving drones" comment....what about the predators getting the slower moving mating queens?...does that make a difference?

I agree that we can't kill everything...somethings it's impossible to kill them all.   :evil:  Just kiddin'.  I agree that there has to get to be a natural balance of things.  I've see a few ugly-looking robber flies carrying honey bees and I figure that's a part of nature...still doesn't stop me from trying to stomp them when I see them (though I miss more than I stomp...by a large margin). 

Sundog, I've got some green lizards that have taken up residence in/on/under my hives.  I leave them be.  It is interesting but these lizards had to travel through the overgrown pasture probably 30-40 feet from the nearest bushes to get to the hives...it was probably like an expedition of epic proportions into the unknown for them.  They're safe, I don't harm them.  If the five-lined skinks or the knarly-looking fence lizards show up they will be dealt with...I think it's too dry for the skinks but the fence lizards would probably like the area.  I've got spiders that take up residence....they get cleared out, smushed, dead.  The first one I killed was a black widow.  Since then they've been mostly some big old brown spiders of some type....lots of egg sacs laid.  I don't want a spider bite..."nice spider" or not.  I may adjust my thinking on the spiders but for now that's where I'm at (and I've dealt with a LOT of spiders in my life).  The robber flies I don't lose sleep over, the spiders I don't lose sleep over, the lizards...no problem, the purple martins worry me some because they are here during the spring when virgin queens will be taking mating flights....but I'll just have to deal with them...might wife loves their "songs" and I love to watch them fly (incredible fliers).  As for seeing no reason to interfere with nature...then why do we put bees in boxes?....why do we rob their honey?...why do we trap beetles and mites?....by that thinking shouldn't we just leave the bees to "live or die"?

There's a balance in there somewhere.  A fellow I know started rearing queens this year.  He noticed some nucs that should have had virgins or mating queens in them coming up queenless.  He started watching and noticed a mocking bird sitting up the top cover of the nucs.  The mocking bird was picking off bees as they flew from/to the nucs....sometimes it would get a bonus big juicy slow-flying one. :-\  "Something" happened to that mocking bird....after "something" happened he found no more queenless nucs. 






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American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev

"Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they wont come to yours." - Yogi Berra

Offline AndrewT

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Re: a swarm, but not bees!
« Reply #29 on: September 02, 2012, 11:44:08 AM »
"As for seeing no reason to interfere with nature...then why do we put bees in boxes?....why do we rob their honey?...why do we trap beetles and mites?....by that thinking shouldn't we just leave the bees to "live or die"?"


I think it's safe to say that we all interfere with nature (some more than others).  I'd like to have a nickel for every squash bug that I've picked off my acorn squash and..........squashed.

I'm just saying that sometimes you don't effectively solve the problem by killing stuff.  I used to have rabbits get into my raised beds and eat my lettuce and spinach plants.  My first solution was to set out a live trap to catch me some rabbits, maybe even have one for dinner.  But, not only is it hard to catch a rabbit in a box trap, I still had my greens eaten.  Then, I put a short plastic fence around the raised bed with the greens and I haven't had a nibble ever since, and there are just as many rabbits as ever.  Problem solved with no blood-shed (though I'd still like to have some fried rabbit).
Give a man a fish and he will have dinner.  Teach a man to fish and he will be late for dinner.

Offline bud1

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Re: a swarm, but not bees!
« Reply #30 on: September 04, 2012, 07:10:26 PM »
i sure like reading you pencil pushers and tree hugers coments, and grin as i picture you making a living as a farmer or a subsistant level. bet you would have a diffrent atitude as your sheep or calves were munched by wolves or chickens munched by hawks, owls, skunks, or foxes. anything messing with me, my lively hood or live stock better be mighty cautious
to bee or not to bee

Offline Intheswamp

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Re: a swarm, but not bees!
« Reply #31 on: September 04, 2012, 11:38:29 PM »
Well said, Bud.

Ed
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American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev

"Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they wont come to yours." - Yogi Berra