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Author Topic: a swarm, but not bees!  (Read 3280 times)
greenbtree
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« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2012, 09:44:21 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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"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!"
greenbtree
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« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2012, 10:17:53 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?
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"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!"
sterling
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« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2012, 05:54:14 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.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2012, 06:45:20 PM »

Just donít fire directly at the domestic drone flying overhead  grin
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AndrewT
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« Reply #24 on: September 01, 2012, 10:47:11 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.
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Give a man a fish and he will have dinner.  Teach a man to fish and he will be late for dinner.
sterling
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« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2012, 12:19:15 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?
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BlueBee
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« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2012, 01:27:46 PM »

AndrewT is wise.  We just canít 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 havenít seen them in the act of catching a honey bee, but I suspect this is how they are getting so big.  Worker bees donít live forever and who cares is the predatorsí 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.
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Sundog
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« Reply #27 on: September 01, 2012, 04:54:49 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!
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #28 on: September 02, 2012, 10:25:33 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!!! grin   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. Undecided  "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

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AndrewT
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« Reply #29 on: September 02, 2012, 10:44:08 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).
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bud1
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« Reply #30 on: September 04, 2012, 06:10:26 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
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #31 on: September 04, 2012, 10:38:29 PM »

Well said, Bud.

Ed
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www.beeweather.com 
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 peopleís funerals, otherwise they wont come to yours." - Yogi Berra
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