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Honey Bees


kristina
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I have just had a call from staff (I'm not in Tuesday afternoons) to say there is a honey bee nest in our giant umbrella. They went to uncover it this afternoon and saw honey bees crawling up inside the folds!

We are based in a school and they are trying to find out when pest control can come in, so question is do we open tomorrow!? Obviously as staff have gone to remove cover this has agitated bees somewhat, and as the weather has been great all the children are using the garden and access to and from the pre-school is through the garden.

What concerns me is that if a child is stung and we knew the nest is right where the children play it wouldn't look very professional, but at the same time I know there will be parents who will moan if we say we can't open, and is this a justifiable reason for not opening?

 

Kris

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Hi Kris -

As a beekeeper myself I'd say please don't use pest control to get rid of them! You'll almost certainly find a local beekeeper who will come out and capture the swarm and set it up as a colony. Pest control will just destroy them which is a terrible shame.

 

In the short term, if they've just arrived there this afternoon they will almost certainly be gone in the next day or so - and meanwhile they will be in an extremely good mood as they have just filled their stomachs with three days worth of food. They're at their most calm and happy when they're swarming.

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Yes, I'll echo what Steve has said. We had a colony establish in our undercroft last summer, and we kept playing, although not deliberately in the 'flight path' to where they were going in and out. A bee-keeper came and took them away on a nice calm night, at about 10pm when they were all back in for the night. He took 3 bags-full as the only way he could remove them and the nest (which was in coconut matting on the floor) was to take everything.

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Obviously the main issue with me is safety of the children, the school are organising pest control as it is on their grounds. If they confirm this evening that it is in fact a nest of honey bees I think I will need to close tomorrow regardless.

If a beekeeper takes them they would obviously have to do it within school hours which may not suit! Not an expert I'm afraid.

 

Kris

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You are right, of course your main consideration must be the children. I PMd you asking if you could let me have your nursery location as I may be able to find the local beekeeping association's swarm collection number - they may well be able to come early evening if they can have access, in which case the swarm should be gone by the morning. If not - since you're thinking of closing tomorrow anyway, perhaps they could still be contacted?

 

It's a shame it takes a little while as it could be quite an exciting thing for the children to watch from the safety of your classrooms? A great learning opportunity. :o

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It's a shame it takes a little while as it could be quite an exciting thing for the children to watch from the safety of your classrooms? A great learning opportunity. :o

When I was on my EYPS placement at a local day nursery I used to go for the late shift and was often there until the children went home. One evening they had a visit from pest control who were there to deal with a wasps nest and they were all togged up in their beekeeping suits. Children were fascinated!

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Our neighbour recently had bees in a hole in her house and the pest control person said they were not allowed to kill and remove them but had to leave the bees well alone and that they would move of their own accord in a few days.

 

Hope you resolve all the bee issues you have.

 

Nicky Sussex :o

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Well panic over! There was evidence of a partial nest (lots of very bright yellow substance with play doh consistency pollen maybe?) but no live nest! The women from pest control said they call out the local bee keeper and he would have come and collected the nest (they dont destroy the nest which was good to know).

SHe has suggested we open and air the unmbrella through the winter months just in case they make a better go of it next time!!

 

Kris

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That's good to know Kris. They'll quite possibly be interested in it at the same time next year (Early April onwards) as the scent from the wax and pheromones might still be on the material) so opening it up and airing it daily next spring is a good forward plan! :o

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