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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Wildlife 
Thread started 27 Feb 2014 (Thursday) 16:20
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"Exposed" Bee Hive

 
Go4EVA!
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Feb 27, 2014 16:20 |  #1

I spotted this bee hive in a tree outside my office today (in Houston, TX). During lunch, I ran home to get my camera, and grabbed a couple of not-so-great shots in the noon-day sun. I have never seen a bee hive “open and exposed” like this. Twice in my life, I have seen bee swarms, where a second surviving queen bee departs the hive with half the population in search of a new, sheltered, hive location. But the swarm usually disperses within 24-48 hours once a new hive habitat is located and established. I’ve never seen bees build a hive out on a tree limb that is exposed to the elements like this.

(Mods: Not sure if this qualifies as photo sharing or should be in discussion - apologies if I'm in the wrong place.)


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Mel-S
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Feb 27, 2014 16:21 |  #2

Wow.


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SierraHighPhoto
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Feb 27, 2014 18:25 |  #3

That is one heck of a capture. Never seen anything like that in my life before either. Chances of you getting us some honey?



  
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Go4EVA!
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Feb 27, 2014 19:04 as a reply to  @ SierraHighPhoto's post |  #4

No, I won't be collecting anything from that nest. It's way up high (~50 feet) in a big tree. :) I shot this with a 40D + 400 f/5.6


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OhLook
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Feb 27, 2014 19:22 |  #5

It's quite a find. Nests like that aren't common in my urban area, but I did see one in a tree in Golden Gate Park.


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Gas ­ Hog
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Feb 27, 2014 20:01 |  #6

OMG! I have never seen that even when bee's were plentiful.
Gary


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Pondrader
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Feb 27, 2014 20:22 |  #7

ok is this Duck dynasty or what


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Lesmore
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Feb 27, 2014 22:32 |  #8

It looks to me like that perhaps a new bee swarm may be in the midst of constructing a new hive. Eventually the bee hive 'cover' will be built....but first things first.

This is just speculation on my part. I'm no expert on bees.




  
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funinmud
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Mar 01, 2014 20:51 |  #9

Cool shot for sure. Any updated shots if it's still there??


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Go4EVA!
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Mar 02, 2014 00:09 as a reply to  @ funinmud's post |  #10

funinmud, no updated pix yet - the weather has been rainy, but I plan to check on the nest again when I return to the office on Monday.

For those that may be interested, I did make contact with an entomologist at Texas A&M University who said that honey bees sometimes build these "exposed" tree limb hives in warmer climates when they are unable to locate a preferred (i.e. sheltered) nesting site in an acceptable amount of time. He also said that when honey bees nest out in the open in colder (more northern) environments it is nearly always fatal to the hive.

With that in mind, I remember seeing a lot of bees flying around, but I can't be sure that ALL of them were actually alive. We recently experienced a cold snap (below freezing) here in Houston and I wonder if a number of them in the picture may actually be dead. I'll try to get some better shots soon.


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kpevav
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Mar 02, 2014 09:07 as a reply to  @ Go4EVA!'s post |  #11

Seven years ago I spotted a hive about 40 to 50 feet up in one of our camphor trees. Here are two relatively poor photos (from a Panasonic FZ-15, I hope that's okay), but the hive has a similar appearance. You can see the bees active in the second photo.


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HOSTED PHOTO DISPLAY FAILED: ATTACH id 678637 does not exist. ]


We had all sorts of opinions from experts about what to do -- usually conflicting -- but just left it in the tree and after a few months the bees left and the hive deteriorated.

Basically
  • one entomologist thought we should have it tested to see their DNA
  • another entomologist thought we should leave it up, it wouldn't affect us at all
  • one biologist didn't know
  • another biologist suggested taking it down, since their temper might be like his :lol:
  • the county didn't want anything to do with it
  • a local beekeeper (good credentials) wanted to take the hive and make it a working one
  • the city didn't want the hive removed
  • it all would have cost us a lot of money to remove it because we live on a one-block private lane and the city would not use their equipment to remove it anyway



  
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OhLook
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Mar 02, 2014 12:41 |  #12

kpe, your second photo doesn't show.


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Mar 03, 2014 22:28 |  #13

That is a very interesting photo. Its a new hive, only a few days old because of the Snow White color. There is no honey in it at this time. They are most likely doomed to die unless a bee keeper catches the swarm or they give up and find a suitable shelter to build in. If the temps have fallen to freezing they probably are done for already. Since they swarmed and left their old hive at least the old hive is still alive with half of their population. I'm not familiar with the climate where this is located, but if there isn't an abundance of flowers in bloom they will starve before they can make any honey. They are also going to be attacked by birds,wasps,and varmints such as raccoons. Poor decision on their part to build outside. Would be interesting to know if they do give up on this project and find a new home. What puzzles me, they always find a new cavity to build in before they swarm,so it seems like their new home may have been destroyed before they could make the move.


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kpevav
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Mar 07, 2014 17:00 |  #14

OhLook wrote in post #16728947 (external link)
kpe, your second photo doesn't show.

I cannot get it to show, but you should be able to click on the link titled "Attachment 678637" that is right below the photo that does show.




  
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OhLook
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Mar 07, 2014 18:38 |  #15

kpevav wrote in post #16741989 (external link)
I cannot get it to show, but you should be able to click on the link titled "Attachment 678637" that is right below the photo that does show.

That doesn't work, either. I think your second photo never did get attached.


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"Exposed" Bee Hive
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