We are at our "urban homestead", here at my parents' home in the Big City. So here is what my youngest son found on my dad's lawn the other night. It is a swarm of bees, seemingly nesting on the ground. There were actually two "nests" going, but overnight they combined into one "nest".
I googled bees and found that there is indeed a species that nests on the ground. I don't think these were that kind, however, because when I dug up the "nest", they were only on the surface. The neighbors were being tormented by bees on the streetlight in front of their house, so they called the exterminator. We believe that these are the bees that came out of that light post.
Of course, my son and I, being bee advocates, want to relocate them. Dad just wants to get rid of them. We agreed to see what would happen the next day, when it warmed up. Dad was convinced they would leave on their own. They didn't. So now I guess it's my turn. My plan is to dig up the whole nest at night when they are "asleep" and put it in a bucket with a lid, take it to a more remote location and turn them loose to find a new home for themselves.
The following day...
Although a few of them left the "nest" during the day, they seemed to stay nearby, mostly climbing on and seeming to eat the grass, too active for us to actually try to do anything with them. Once the sun started setting, however, they went back to their "nesting" behavior and sluggishness. It was then fairly easy to dig a circle around them, lift dirt, bees and all into a bucket, and transport them. We sprayed a light mist of water over them when they became agitated from the digging, which prevented them from swarming us.
In this video (http://www.youtube.com/embed/rgMk7xSt5Ko) you can see their strange behaviour. Most of them stayed just like this the whole time, which I guess would indicated effects of poisoning. A few did venture out and fly around a bit.
Though I suspect they did not survive the poisoning that drove them into our yard in the first place, I feel we did everything we could to give them a chance at survival, and I hope at least a few did manage to build a new home.
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