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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a!
Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Thoughts about Bees in the House

One of the costs of having my beehives on my deck is that bees inevitably end up in my house. Even when I haven't opened the door to the deck where the bees are, bees ride into my house on the backs of my dogs.

I keep the outside lights off at night to lower the rate of attraction. They come in anyway. If they don't come in with the dogs (which is how the majority of the bees enter the house), they come in on my hair or my back after I've visited the hives.

Yesterday I was cleaning up because my one year old grandson spends Fridays with me. I began counting the numbers of dead bees I was vacuuming up. I stopped when I got to 30 because it was depressing to think of all those bees, slamming their bodies against the ceiling lights (which is how most of them die). Granted, I had been out of town so it had been about a week since I had vacuumed, but there were a lot.

The bees mostly experience death by light bulb. In addition, I also find dead bees on the floor by the glass walls between my den and the sun porch. These bees die by desperately trying to get to the light bulb on the other side of the glass and I suppose kill themselves by repeatedly throwing themselves against the glass.

I keep a drinking glass and a postcard by the door to the deck and rescue 3 -5 bees a night in the house. Even after being rescued, these bees may go back outside and simply die there. By the time I capture them, they have already gotten my attention by throwing themselves against a light bulb.

If I keep things relative in my mind, I realize that each hive has 20 - 30,000 bees or more at this point and 30 - 40 dead bees in the house over a week or so is not so big in relationship to the colony as a whole.

But I do continually feel bad about it.

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