Category Archives: Bees

Bee Removal From a House -The Easiest Way


Posted by Cassie

Bee removal 2

Bees are a way of life here and like many things we were initially freaked out about when moving here (have you seen the rats?! haha) we have taken them on as a learning opportunity. We love bees and all the work they do. They pollinate so many of our beautiful flowers and fruit trees that there is no doubt that we want to help them as much as possible.

Tropical gardens flowers
Some of the beautiful flora we grow here

Pomarrosa flowerFlor de Pomarrosa

Bilimbe flower
Our first bilimbe flowers!

Berry thingsA wild currently unknown tree with beautiful red berries (anyone venture a guess?)

However, we really don’t want them to be living inside our walls. I wasn’t too surprised when I walked past the shed and saw a few bees entering the drain area of the wall. I knew exactly what was happening. We have had so many bees building homes in the cavities of the wood house that this was kind of expected. We have in the past hired people to come and take the bees away. And some people will use poison, but there is one other way to get the bees out of your house without actually touching them or harming them! And it is by far the easiest and cheapest!

Cassie and Kitty crop
Kitty and I are on a bee safari!

Bee time
Britton (and Kitty) getting down to bzzzzness

Cover yourself so that the bees can’t sting you and then just simply open up the cavity and walk away! In one day they will be gone. Bees need to have protection on both sides, so if one side is open, they will have no choice but to leave. And that is exactly what happened with this hive.

Bee time hiveIEmpty cavity
Lots of bees! And then one day later they are gone! Easy peasy!

The next level in this game would be to actually handle the bees and put them into a beehive where we could then harvest some of their honey. But for now we are pretty proud to be able to do this ourselves! We’ve come a long way since our first house bee hives!

Here’s a funky fun video of this easiest of bee removals. (Check out 2:45 for a close up of all the bees)

 

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And New Baby Turkeys!


Posted by Cassie

Today we found two baby turkey poults. They had been separated from their mom by the fence, so Britton went over and helped them over.

Britton and the turkey mom and babies
Britton helping out the turkey mom and babies

The mom seems very proud of these two little ones and they look as if they have just hatched. There are 4 other turkeys in the jungle, and probably more eggs on the nest that these came from, so we may soon be overrun by turkeys! Yay!

Turkey mom and chicks
The poults are so small compared to the mom

It is springtime here in the tropics. The birds and the bees are doing their thing. The next generation is in full swing.

Parcha
Big black bee pollinating a passionfruit flower

Mama turkey and her babes

 

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Bees in a Jar


Posted by Britton

Today as I was walking from the cabana down to the coop with the daily catch of fallen mangoes for the compost pile I got a bit of a surprise.  A bee up and stung me in the ear!  I dropped all the mangoes and ran while the bruised and over-ripe fruit started rolling down the hill.  At about the same time the water hose popped and sprung a leak!

Cassie said I looked like a cartoon with my flailing about, yelling and running.  As we were going back towards the cabana there were more bees bumping us, giving us that tell tale warning that they are going to attack.

We got in the cabana and shut the door….. “Holy smokes!  What the hell was that?”  Had we stepped on one on the way down to the coop?  We normally don’t get stung by the few bees that visit the yard, especially having cleared out all the previous hives living within the wood house and the trunk of the old mango tree.  Bees are supposed to only sting when they feel threatened or if the hive is under attack.

After about 10 minutes and looking at my stung ear as it swelled we decided to go back out and see if we could figure out what was going on.  We went up on top of the cabana because it offers a good view.  We weren’t up there 5 minutes and we started getting bumped again by bees.  We ran.  We got back in the cabana and decided that there was something up and that we would give them some time to calm down.  We went to town for some food, groceries and another mower blade.

When we went to let the chickens out Cassie spotted what was causing all the commotion.

Swarm (2)
Bee Swarm (click to enlarge)

There were quite a few bees on one of the Mexicola avocado tree leaves, so we must have a swarm on our hands.  This is a very small swarm by swarm standards, actually tiny.  This was a perfect opportunity for me to use my newbee bee keeping skills!  I went and grabbed a jar, some scissors, gloves and the bee veil.

It didn’t take very long, and I didn’t get stung but there is a queen in with the swarm.  Not sure where it came from or why it is so small, but it all went well and put an end to the bee sting mystery and I gained 5 experience points in my bee skills!  I would rather do this with a small amount of bees to start with.  If there were hundreds of bees it would have been more intimidating but I think even then I would be up to the task.

We don’t have an empty hive yet, but now we think we should have one around for the next swarm opportunity.  For this group I am just glad they aren’t going to end up inside the walls of the house and I wanted to take care of a potential issue as well as some aggressive bees in the yard. Bees are not known for being aggressive when they swarm.  I think it is possible they were fighting with another hive in the base of the big mango we took down a few weeks ago. There were some bees flying super fast all over today.

Bees in a jar
Bees in a Jar

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Chicks in Tub and Lares Bee Festival


Posted by Cassie

The chicks are growing fast. So fast, in fact, that by 10 days we knew they were outgrowing the plastic tub they were living in and were starting to stink up the cabana! So we prepared them for their move to the bathtub from the outdoor bathroom we had removed from the deck.

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We made a couple of other minor changes as well. For instance, instead of continuing to buy pine wood shavings, we thought, why not just use grass from the property? We are also trying out a chicken bottle with a nipple (yes, a chicken nipple -haha) that our friend gave us. The chicks overall seem content in their new step 2 home.

Leghorn Chick IMG_5217

The only major adjustment we had to make was that on the first night we moved them to the tub, we heard something outside. Britton went to check on it and found a rat trying to get at the chicks! So we fixed up the tub with boards, concrete blocks and a rat trap and haven’t had a problem since we instituted the Fort Knox solution at night. During the day nothing has tried to mess with them, so we leave it mostly open with just a few boards and the wire mesh.The main coop is starting to come together and we’ll post an update soon when we get more progress on it.

This weekend we also drove up to Lares for the Festival de la Abeja (thanks Adolfo for the tip). We hadn’t been to Lares since we nearly bought a place there, so it brought up a lot of fun memories. Lares is in the heart of the jungle mountains and is a pretty cool old city. It’s about a 45 minute to hour drive from Rincón.

IMG_5225
Old building in Lares

The festival itself was pretty fun, though we were hoping for more bee information and bee-raising materials. There were mainly booths with exotic birds, plants and food vendors and also a live band. The theme of the event was: “Sin Abejas  No Hay Polinización y sin Polinización No Hay Alimentación” which means “Without bees there is no pollination and without pollination, there is no food”.

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IMG_5226 IMG_5229

But since we were in town, we had to stop at the famous Heladería of Lares (ice cream shop) that includes many different ice cream flavors including even rice and beans! We weren’t quite up for that, and chose coffee and mango ice cream. It was a fun day trip.

IMG_5230 IMG_5233

 

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