Honey Bee Colony Found

At least one wild honey bee colony was located last weekend – on my brother’s boat in Florida. Got an email from Paul yesterday – and pictures. Seems he and his wife arrived at the marina on Sunday morning planning on a fishing trip. As they were preparing the boat, Paul noticed about a dozen bees swarming around the cabin. He borrowed some hornet spray from a dock-hand and sprayed one bee that had landed on the transom (he and his wife are both allergic to bee stings). Paul said that as soon as he killed the one bee, many more bees began pouring from a rod holder about 10 feet away and within minutes, hundreds of bees were circling the 22-foot boat.

Fortunately at this time both Paul and Pam were still on the dock. It didn’t take them long to figure out there was a bigger problem than just a few bees, and they called for help.

The marina personnel isolated their boat and called a beekeeper, who used smoke to subdue the bees. The rod box in the side of the hull had to be removed to gain access to the hive.

boatbees1

Paul and Pam had used the boat just two weeks ago, so the bees had moved in and produced five combs in two weeks or less.

boatbees2

There were five large combs that had to be removed along with the bees. Apparently the bees used the starboard rod holder to gain access to what they thought was a good place for a hive.

boatbees3

This photo shows the large Queen in the center, surrounded by her protective drones.

When Paul told me about this, I half-joked that it was fortunate they discovered the bees before they left the marina, or they’d have to choose between bees or sharks. He wrote back that it was funny, his wife had said the same thing. He also said sharks are no joke – they are regularly catching juvenal black-tips, shovelnose, and hammerheads. There are a few things about Florida I don’t miss.

I hope the bees fare well in their new home.

6 Responses to “Honey Bee Colony Found”

  1. mon@rch Says:

    How wonderful they found this Colony! Love your photos!

  2. KGMom Says:

    At first I was going to say–hurray, they found some bees, considering the bad news about bees. Then I continued reading–what a story. And amazing too. Great pics to help us visualize the scope of the bee problem.

  3. Ruth Says:

    I am behind in reading a number of blogs, including yours. At least I can see all the excellent pictures in your recent posts now. Very interesting story about the Florida bees!

  4. Laura Says:

    Busy bees, huh? Seems like a strange place to make a home – on the water, I mean – but who knows what the bees know.
    😉

    I guess there’s a happy beekeeper in this story.
    😉

    Glad no people or bees were hurt!

  5. obi4240 Says:

    Ruth – glad the pics are coming through. It must be a server thing; I thought I did something wrong one day because they wouldn’t show and was all set to redo them and then – there they were!

    Laura – I thought the same thing, but then realized the boat was in dry dock for the two weeks – where boats are sometimes stacked three or four high. When Paul wants to use it he calls the marina and they have it in the water when he arrives. I’ve seen them do this – they pick the boat up from its space in drydock with a special forklift and drive it to the dock, then lower it into the water. That must have been a very smooth forklift operator to not have jostled the bees and been attacked himself!

  6. Laura Says:

    That would not have been a pleasant surprise!


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