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Old 24-09-2016, 14:33   #1
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You never want to see this on your boat

On the boat across the dock from me - just swarmed there an hour ago. A couple bees had been buzzing around our lunch but we shooed them away. I guess they went over to Aron's boat!

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Old 24-09-2016, 14:37   #2
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Re: You never want to see this on your boat

There has been at least one discussion on this subject before. My take from it was if you leave them alone they will probably move on in the morning and they are probably not dangerous if undisturbed. (notice the probablys)
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Old 24-09-2016, 14:46   #3
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Re: You never want to see this on your boat

"My take from it was if you leave them alone they will probably move on in the morning and they are probably not dangerous if undisturbed."

That has not been my experience the only two times I've been involved with a swarm. Last year here in San Diego a swarm formed on a bush at the top of our dock ramp. It stayed there for several days until a bee guy came and took them away. He did it humanely and said he would give them a nice wooden bee hive to live in.

Many years ago on the west coast of the Baja Peninsula one of the boat in our anchorage was hit with a swarm. It remained for several days. Problem is that it was on the radar dome. The captain tried to shoo them off but they would not leave. He made ready to leave the anchorage, figured the bees would leave if he got the 50' sport fisher going fast off shore.

He did not know the bees had gotten inside the radome so when he turned on the radar - the bees shorted out all the circuits and destroyed the radar. He finally froze them off the radome with CO2.

The boat in my pictures today is a very busy charter operation and goes out several times a day. The owner will not be pleased when he gets here.
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Old 24-09-2016, 20:21   #4
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Re: You never want to see this on your boat

Was helping one beekeeper in one of my previous lifes. Smoke, a carton box and knock the swarm into the box. Close the box and let the rest of the bees gather on the box.. Easypeasy..
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Old 24-09-2016, 20:25   #5
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Re: You never want to see this on your boat

Yes, but you had on a bee suit when you did that...
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Old 24-09-2016, 21:55   #6
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Re: You never want to see this on your boat

I agree with the OP. Never want to see that on my boat!
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Old 24-09-2016, 22:10   #7
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Re: You never want to see this on your boat

We used to have a wild hive living in our second story deck (it was built over a roof, they built the hive in the space between)
For about 15 years they lived there and when they reached maximum capacity of the hive they created a second queen and split the hive. They split most years!

Every time the hive split they would find some protected spot not far from the original hive. A bush, another over hang etc.

From there they would send out scouts looking for a new place to build. Once a new spot had been found they would move on. Often this happened with in a day or two of splitting. But once or twice it took a week or so.

Along the way we met a bee keeper. One year when the hive was getting ready to split we called her to collect the hive.

That was a remarkable experience! Apparently bees imprint on there host landscape and even people. While she and her husband kept getting stung (bees getting inside their suits) my son and I stood right in the midst of the mayhem and we're covered in bees but we did not get stung!
Any way the swarm they collected died the same year.

Since wild bees are in decline we never called her again. I would like to think that most of t h e new hives survived when left to their own divices.

I suspect this hive will move on. The sail cover seems ideaL in many ways but bees need access to pollen and fresh water. If the's aren't pretty close or if it's too windy, hot or they are harassed by pretitors they will move on quickly.
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Old 25-09-2016, 08:26   #8
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Re: You never want to see this on your boat

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Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
On the boat across the dock from me - just swarmed there an hour ago. A couple bees had been buzzing around our lunch but we shooed them away. I guess they went over to Aron's boat!
I love finding that on a boat, free bees! Then again, I'm a beekeeper, so...

They are clustered there while they scout out a new place to live. Since they have no honey and no young bees to protect, the swarm is unlikely to sting. I usually collect them without a bee suit without getting stung, knock on wood!
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Old 25-09-2016, 08:33   #9
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Re: You never want to see this on your boat

A few years, competing in one of our club's Sunday race events we set our chute. As the sock covering the chute reached the masthead and the chute opened a swarm of bees appeared. Eventually, the concentration at the masthead dispersed. But many came down to deck level where they harassed the crew for some minutes before we/they moved on.

Hope the little buzzers made it safely back to shore.
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Old 25-09-2016, 08:42   #10
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Re: You never want to see this on your boat

once at a small picturesque island anchorage off Central America I killed a really pesky bee only to have two more appear. this occurred repeatedly and each time the number of bees increased. was advised by another yachty (vhf) to wash the dead bees off the deck because the odor of dead bees infuriates them. i did and it may have helped but we upped anchor and left anyway. we conclude that because of their aggressive behavior that they might have been 'killer' bees.
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Old 25-09-2016, 09:36   #11
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Re: You never want to see this on your boat

Lucky it's on the boom!

Last year we had a swarm decide to go down our mast! After several beekeepers said $750-$1000 at minimum, and several telling us to pull the mast, we found a wonderful bee guy who came out 3x over the course of the week to spray up the mast and finally put some chemical impregnated strips inside the mast that we zip tied to the spare halyard (which had honeycomb already being built on it about 1/3 way down the mast).


All were gone within a couple days and no recurrence. Worst part was the way I found out - stepping on one inside the cabin!
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Old 25-09-2016, 10:14   #12
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Re: You never want to see this on your boat

Gentle bees just taking a break and getting their bearings while some of their hive buddies are out looking for new digs. Leave them alone and they'll most likely move on. Bees normally can't sting you during a swarm because they've gorged themselves with honey, unless of course.... you step on one.

We kept bees for years, I miss them. One of my favorite things to do is to invite a honey bee onto my fingertip then pat it gently on it's back with another finger like it's a little bitty dog. It really creeps most people out, but they really are quite gentle.
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Old 25-09-2016, 10:19   #13
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Re: You never want to see this on your boat

They are bees looking for a new home. The best thing to do is to call a beekeeper that might be happy to give them a new home.

If you see some of them studying the internals of your mast, put some tape over the holes of the mast since you don't want them to choose your mast as their new home. If they decide to do so, you have a somewhat bigger problem in your hands.

Don't harass or kill them. Bees looking for a new home are peaceful, but if some of them try to defend themselves using poison, the smell of poison may make also the other bees angry.

You might also offer them a box as their new home. If you can move the queen there, all the others will follow. They might decide to move into your box also by themselves.
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Old 25-09-2016, 10:21   #14
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Re: You never want to see this on your boat

I'm guessing none of you have run into Africanized bees.

I used to have problems with birds nesting in the boom. I sealed the end. Regarding bees, once the swarm settled down, I would spray the inside of the mast, to be sure (one of those mosquito head nets over a hat works).
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Old 25-09-2016, 11:04   #15
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Re: You never want to see this on your boat

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I'm guessing none of you have run into Africanized bees.

I used to have problems with birds nesting in the boom. I sealed the end. Regarding bees, once the swarm settled down, I would spray the inside of the mast, to be sure (one of those mosquito head nets over a hat works).
Actually.... I have, in fact one year several of our hives became Africanized. It was quite nasty for a month or so going anywhere near the hives, but generally most bees, even Africanized are quite peaceful when not protecting a hive while they're out foraging.
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