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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 18th year of beekeeping in April 2023. Now there are more than 1300 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

Even if you find one post on the subject, I've posted a lot on basic beekeeping skills like installing bees, harvesting honey, inspecting the hive, etc. so be sure to search for more once you've found a topic of interest to you. And watch the useful videos and slide shows on the sidebar. All of them have captions. Please share posts of interest via Facebook, Pinterest, etc.

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.

Need help with an Atlanta area swarm? Visit Found a Swarm? Call a Beekeeper. ‪(404) 482-1848‬

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Friday, June 27, 2014

And About the Neighbors.......

The house next door to me has been on the market and vacant for about a year.  Other houses in my area of Atlanta sell the minute they are put on the MLS, but not this one.  It's a really pretty house, but needs updating and has an odd floor plan that doesn't work well for children - at least that's why the realtor told me it has taken so long to sell.

I'm currently renovating my kitchen and since my house is very tiny, I've moved to the finished attic to live for the forever number of weeks it is taking to finish the job.  So a few days ago, I was sitting on my upstairs bed, talking to my friend Gina on the phone, and gazing out the window at the roof peak at the side of my house.  As I am watching the exterior of the house next door, I realized I was looking at what may be honey bees flying in and out above a second floor dryer vent.

The dryer vent looks like it is on the second floor and as you can see is rather high up since the house has a basement, a first floor and then the dryer vent.

I don't have a powerful enough zoom on my camera to get a clear picture of the insects flying in and out, but they do act like honey bees.

When we were little my Daddy used to say a poem to us:

"Whatcha' want?"
"I see a bear..."
"Big bear or a little bear?"
"Little biddy bear."
"Eat grass and watch him"
"Whatcha' want?"
"I see a bear..."
"Big bear or a little bear?"
"Run for your life, run for your life!!!!!"

I keep thinking about this as I watch the bees flying in and out of the hole entry above the dryer vent.  Do I eat grass and watch 'em or do I call the realtor and tell her the news.  You can see the hole entry above and to the left of the center of the dryer vent.

I have tried to photograph the insects with both my phone and my camera but neither have the necessary zoom capacity.

So a couple of days ago, I called the realtor.  I told her I thought there might be honey bees living above the dryer vent.  I told her that there are five beekeepers within a block of my house and although I thought they were honey bees, they were not likely to be my honey bees since bees when they swarm to a new home, generally go at least a mile away if they can.  I gave her the names and numbers of three master beekeepers I know who do bee removals.  I also offered my phone number for the owner (whom I don't know - the house was rented when I moved in next door) in case he had questions.  I hung up relieved but still a little wary.

Finally this morning I decided to take a pair of binoculars upstairs and look out of the window.  I think these might NOT be honey bees but rather yellow jackets.  One view through the binoculars looked like their bodies were more yellow than orange and more pointed at the end than the bee.  I am giving you a blurry photo which is the best I can do so you can see what YOU think!

When I talked to the realtor, she told me the house was pending contract, waiting on the inspection and the loan.  She commented that the inspection had already happened and the inspector did not notice the insect activity.

At least it has me thinking about the new neighbors and I will certainly take them honey when they move in and possibly (as one of my friends suggested) my Canadian honey buttermilk rolls!


  1. They look more bee shaped than waspy to me, but it's a hard call.. The realtor will probably not say anything at this point. I think photo #2 would have been clear enough if there had been a bee or two more showing. As far as color, look at the photos I just posted on my blog. I have some that are very blonde with little or even no black on their abdomens.

  2. Oh boy. Hopefully they are just honey bees and not yellow jackets.

  3. Lordy, let us hope they ARE yellow jackets! Linda, I think the only answer is a midnight op with the local master beekeepers...

  4. Good lord they aren't that yellow jackets

  5. My friend and co-editor of the GBA Newsletter with me was over at my house yesterday to work on the newsletter. While she was there, the owner of the house knocked on the door. Gina has steady hands, unlike my shaky ones, so she took the binoculars out onto my deck and decided without question that they are yellow jackets! I was so relieved. The owner can call a pest removal company to take care of them. In Georgia the pest companies won't come for honey bees and refer to local beekeepers instead. Now I get points for making the call and no blame since they are not honey bees. Whoo HOOO


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