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Author Topic: Hello from Italy! Can you help me find the best forum for my question?  (Read 344 times)
sophia
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« on: January 29, 2014, 01:16:13 PM »

Hi,

I live in Italy and I came to this forum because I need the advice of expert beekeepers!

My nephew has chosen to have his wedding in June on my terrace in Italy and I am very happy about it but I am worried that my neighbor has bees and the bees might want to join us!

We are not serving food or drinks at the ceremony but I am worried that if people wear perfume or hats with flowers that the bees will be interested.  I think my new niece will want to have flowers at her wedding. There will be children at the wedding and I think if bees come the children will get hysterical (maybe some guests too).

Am I worrying too much?  I hope so! The wedding will be in the late afternoon. When we eat dinner on our terrace in summer a few bees come, especially if we serve meat or ice cream.  Will they come if there is perfume?

Is there anything I can do to discourage bees from coming? I don't want to poison my neighbors' bees or the guests but are there things I could hang -- like a treated cloth -- that  discourage bees?  Are there certain types of flowers we should avoid using as decorations?

Hope you don't mind this crazy sounding post and if it belongs someplace else then I will post it there. Grazie!
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asprince
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« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2014, 01:20:38 PM »

How many hives does your neighbor have and how close are they?


Steve
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sophia
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« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2014, 01:36:00 PM »

Thank you Steve for responding.

I live on the side of a steep hill where all the houses and farms are terraces.  My neighbor's six or seven boxes are below where we plan to have the ceremony.  If I were to jump from my terrace to where his boxes it would be like jumping from the roof of a house to the ground.  The boxes are about 50 away from the spot where we would be seating guests, but like I said, they are the next level down.

I should add that I don't know that the boxes are very active.  My neighbor has a small farm for growing his own food and making his own wine.  He has vegetable patches and fruit trees.  I have never seen him working on the boxes or wearing a bee suit.

When bees come to join us at dinner I am not exactly sure where they come from.  When it is dark they disappear.  They are not aggressive. But once my husband got stung on the hand (I think it was because he was talking to friends and gesturing) and another time at a nearby house, a woman at a cocktail party got stung.

So any advice anybody can offer about how to keep bees away during a 30 minute wedding ceremony would be helpful!  I don't want anybody stung and I don't want the ceremony interrupted with people shrieking and running because bees are arriving!
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Joe D
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« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2014, 05:27:40 PM »

Talk to your neighbor about the wedding and see what he has to say.  He would know his bees, the best.  Good luck to you and the wedding.
You can run it back by the forum, tell us what he has to say, but I would talk to him first.



Joe
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asprince
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« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2014, 05:37:41 PM »

It may have not been honey bees that have visited you and stung your husband.  Talk to you neighbor, he may be willing to screen the opening for a day keeping them inside the hive.


Good Luck,

Steve 
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Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resembalance to the first. - Ronald Reagan
sophia
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« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2014, 05:41:44 PM »

I will talk to my neighbor but when I told my husband this evening over dinner that I had posted on this forum, he said to me that he believed the bees that we see at our dinner table in the summer time are yellow jackets or maybe even a type of wasp, not honey bees.  He may be right, because I have seen some of them retreat into the crevices between the stones in the walls.

Sorry to ask such unschooled questions but I know nothing about insect behavior. Is there no way of predicting whether bees or yellow jackets in general would be attracted to cologne or flower-print clothing in the late afternoon?

Also, are there any products or plants that people use to keep bees out of an area where they don't want them?  I know bees are attracted by certain flowers (and I certainly wouldn't want my niece-to-be to have them in her bouquet if I knew what they were).  Is it possible to create a decoy for the bees that would steer them to another area or might I just end up attracting more bees to the vicinity?

Are there any flowers or smells or anything that bees particularly don't like?
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edward
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FEED ME HONEY or I`ll smash your screen !


« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2014, 06:04:58 PM »

A hive of bees usually work one source of nectar at a time.

So under the few hours that the wedding is in the garden the bees will bee busy working other all ready established flowers and sources of nectar.

Bees are vegetarians and are non aggressive away from their hives.

The hives are below you, mostlikely pointing away from you tearace so it shouldn't bee a problem.


mvh Edward  tongue
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kathyp
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« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2014, 06:12:39 PM »

Quote
we see at our dinner table in the summer time are yellow jackets or maybe even a type of wasp, not honey bees.

when you said they showed up for  meat, that was my first thought.  YJs are attracted to many of the same things that will attract honeybees, but also meat.  they tend to be more aggressive.  wasps might be what your husband has seen going into cracks.

if you have a digital camera, try taking some pictures.  you can do some comparisons on the internet and see if you can ID them.  knowing what they are will help.  if they are yellowjackts or wasps, you can put out traps and see if you can get the numbers down before the wedding.  the earlier you can start catching them, especially the queens, the less a problem they will be later.

first the ID!   grin
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.....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
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« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2014, 06:25:16 PM »

Sophia,
I wouldn't worry about it too much, I'm thinking the pouring down rain will keep them away.  grin

Just joking....But my point is, if you hold an outdoor event, there are certain things simply out of your control.  I think Joe's idea of talking to the Beekeeper was a good one.  If the problem is yellow-jackets, there are some traps you can make for that, however, I'm not sure how much that may simply be providing an attractant and end up drawing more to the area than normal.

My guess is you're just over thinking this and worrying about a non-issue.  I don't know of anyway to guarantee that a guest won't get bitten or stung by a flying insect at an outdoor event, at the same time, I don't think it's that likely to happen, but it won't be the end of the world if one does.

My older sister got married this past April at my little sisters house, where I keep my bees.  She was a nervous wreck that my bees were going to ruin her wedding.  I finally assured her there was a higher probability of aliens from out of space invading her wedding than the bees causing a problem.

Glad to report the wedding went off without incident...no bee problems, and no aliens!  grin
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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
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sophia
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« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2014, 06:49:16 PM »

Thanks for all your assistance! It has been stellar, and I am very much reassured.

I actually wasn't too worried about it until I thought of how many women might show up wearing cologne.

But I also just did some googling and learned that they probably are yellow jackets because yellow jackets really like meat. So I also googled "How do I keep yellow jackets out of my garden?" and found a really useful set of suggestions on Wikihow (which this forum won't let me provide a link to because of automatic anti-spamming software, but it had very good ideas.

I think if I am vigilant in the months before the wedding about making sure we aren't acquiring any yellow jacket nests that we won't have a problem.  It will be a small event and if anybody shows up wearing hawaiian prints, I'll steer them to a seat in the shade.  I consult with my future niece about her choice of flowers on the outside chance she wants to be super cautious.

Fortunately if it is pouring rain we can all just head inside.

Thanks again!

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asprince
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« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2014, 07:55:13 PM »

Sophia, Hang around our forum for a while, we sometimes talk about more than just bees. Sometimes we solve world problems.


Steve


 
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Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resembalance to the first. - Ronald Reagan
sophia
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« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2014, 04:14:15 AM »

That doesn't surprise me. I have always suspected it is those who understand the dance of the bees who will save us all provided you can get people to listen.

One of the more interesting tips I read about deterring yellow jackets is that they don't like cucumbers! Long before the wedding the weather here will be nice enough to dine outdoors, so I am going to experiment with some strategically placed cucumber slices to see if we can get the yellow jackets to quit crashing our dinner parties.  The best solution I had come up with previously was to give them their own plate of sliced salume at the far end of the table.
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