You would expect to find bees in flowers, gardens where they are sweet-tasting plants and generally around anything sweet. The last place most gardeners would expect to find bees is in their compost bin. While it’s nothing to get scared over, it’s also an unpleasant experience. However, bees are ubiquitous and don’t usually do what is expected of them.
If you find bees in your compost pile, you need to be cautious. While some bees can be quite beneficial to your gardening, others can be relatively harmful. So what do you do when bees infiltrate your pile?
In this article, we would be taking you through everything you need to know about compost management and what to do in the event of a bee infiltration.
How to get rid of Bees from my compost bin?
As mentioned above, finding bees nesting beneath your compost bin isn’t much of a big deal. More than 78% of compost bin keepers have experienced the same thing. Sometimes, you might also find wasps (often mistaken for bees) residing in them.
Getting rid of bees can be tricky. Usually, it is advisable to invite a beekeeper to take them away, report to your city’s appropriate authority, or contact a removal service to help you expunge the infestation. However, you can get rid of them all by yourself in a fee simple steps.
Tools needed to get BEES out of Compost safely.
To get the job done, you’d be needing the following tools.
- Queen cage
- Soft bee brush
- Adequate lighting
- Sugar syrup
- In-hive bee feeders
- Personal protective gear
- Bee smoker
- Beehive boxes with frames and covers
Procedure to remove Bees from COMPOST:
- Clad yourself with your protective clothing before setting out. This way, you can protect your body from stings from defensive honeybees. The stings are not a pleasure, trust me.
- The next thing to do is to make sure that your beehive boxes are fully prepared. This includes making sure that your box contains beehive frames. You’d be minimizing the potential of disturbances and be able to move the hive once the bees settle.
- After that, get other gears on standby before setting out to the compost bin. Go along with the beehive box. Your smoker, light, sugar syrup, bee brush, and spray should be within quick reach. Light up the smoker, but avoid using it except if the bees attack you. You can as well pacify them by spraying them with the sugar syrup.
- At the compost bin site, brush bees into your box with 3-4 beehive frames. Make sure to put every bee in your beehive box. If you’re lucky enough to find the queen bee, make sure to put her separately in the queen’s cage. Remove every comb in the compost bin and place them jointly with the bees in the beehive. This way, the bees will settle better in their new abode.
- Once you have successfully moved the bees to the beehive boxes, ensure to cover the lid adequately to avoid the bees flying out before setting out to the new location you want to keep the bees.
Why do bees nest in compost heaps?
Honeybees are social insects. They can inhibit colonies with thousands of buzzers living in it. However, when these colonies are filled up, the bees have to split hthe population, leaving a large number of them “homeless.” The Queen, who doubles as both mother and leader to other needs, then sets out with lots of other bees to look for another home, leaving the other part for “another queen.” As you know, bees love places with organic sources to enable them to transfer food to their queen to ensure reproduction, so then, your compost bin might be the next place of abode.
Are bees GOOD for the garden?
It takes more than the earth, water, and sun to make the planet green. Even some of the world’s crops and 90% of the plants require cross-pollination to propagate and develop, and in most places, bees are the most important pollinators.
Unfortunately, bee populations are declining. (Nooooooo)
Climate change causes some flowers to bloom earlier or later than usual, so bees’ food sources are less at the start of the season. Bees are also victims of the loss and degradation of their habitat due to urban development, the abandonment of beekeeping farms, and the lack of suitable flower species. Some colonies are wiped out by neonicotinoid pesticides used to treat plants and seeds, or by harmful parasites like mites.
The good news is that there are ways to help bee populations rebound. Creating a bee garden will help grow beautiful, healthy plants and allow bees to continue to play their essential role in our ecosystem.
5 reasons why BEES are VERY important for the garden.
What do you like to grow in the summer? If you like apples, melons, cranberries, asparagus, or broccoli, you should thank our hairy girlfriends!
To germinate, these plants need pollen to be transferred from the male part of the flower (anther) to the female part (stigma). When bees move from flower to flower looking for nectar, they leave pollen grains behind on the sticky surface, allowing plants to grow and produce fruit.
Bees have a reputation for working hard because they pollinate billions of plants each year, including millions of crops. In fact, pollinators like bees play a crucial role in producing a third of the food we eat. Without them, many of the plants we rely on for food would die.
2. Growth of wild plants
It’s not just cultivated fruits and vegetables that need pollinators to thrive. Several species of wild plants also depend on it. Bees are responsible for the production of several seeds, nuts, berries, and fruits, which are an essential food source for wild animals.
3. Food source
Bees produce honey to feed their colony during the winter months. We have been harvesting honey for thousands of years, but we are not alone in loving its sweet taste. Indeed, birds, raccoons, possums, and insects, among others, attack hives to find honey as well as larvae.
The bees themselves are part of the food chain. At least 24 bird species, including robins, ruby-throated hummingbirds, and starlings, hunt bees. Several spiders and insects, such as dragonflies and mantis, also eat bees.
4. Wildlife habitats
Bees are known for their elaborate hives, but they also help provide a roof for millions of other insects and animals. Their role as pollinators is vital for the development of tropical forests, wooded savannas, and temperate deciduous forests. Several tree species, such as willows and poplars, would not be able to grow without pollinators like bees.
Your garden is a refuge for a wide variety of creatures, such as birds, squirrels, and insects. If the bees disappeared, the animals and insects that depend on your plants for survival would also disappear.
As pollinators, bees play several roles in our ecosystem. They participate in the growth of trees, flowers, and other plants, which serve as food and shelter for many creatures, large and small. Bees are also involved in complex ecosystems that are interconnected and allow a wide variety of different species to coexist.
The importance of bees for food production is beyond doubt. Without them, our gardens and plates would be empty. But we must not forget the other reasons that make bees essential to our garden.
So, how long do bees live for?
For domestic bees, the longevity champion is the queen who lives 3 to 5 years. A summer worker lives on average 5 to 6 weeks and a winter worker for 5 to 6 months. The fate of males is different since they die either after mating or at the end of summer if they have not mated. They are then driven out of the hive by the workers who stop feeding them.
Top 10 Bee FACTS!
The life of bees is an enchanted source,” said Karl Von Frisch.
These foragers, buzzing small insects are an essential link in the ecosystem. Bees allow pollination and are therefore critical to the formation of seeds and fruits for many plants. Also, they produce many substances that only they are capable of creating: honey, royal jelly, etc.
So let’s see ten amazing facts about these surprising insects:
- In a lifetime, a bee travels 800 km. The distance between Calais and Bordeaux. For a large colony (60,000 workers), that makes 48,000,000 km! More challenging to find an equivalent range.
- A bee produces less than a gram of honey in its entire existence! Or a twelfth of a teaspoon. This kind of information can slightly modify our relationship with honey… and allow us to taste it better.:)
- One kg of honey is… Six million flowers gathered! Just that.
- Bees are incredible dancers. You better believe that. And yes, their dance steps are carefully thought out. It is a means of communication that allows them to indicate to other workers an excellent place to collect nectar and pollen. Their dance gives precise indications on the location of the site, its distance from the hive.
- They make honey a product that does not expire. Indeed, once the nectar is harvested, it is made up of a large amount of moisture, which they reduce considerably by ventilating with their wings and reducing it to a much lower rate.
- They are allergic to magnets: By attaching small pieces of steel to bees while shaking magnets near them three times a minute, researchers have proven that it could cause sleep deprivation on bees.
- When they meet a certain number of flowers, they develop the quickest path between all the different flowers to be gathered.
- Bees can recognize and distinguish human faces.
- Scientists have trained bees to recognize a photo of a particular face by rewarding them at the end. Almost 90% of the time the reward is obtained, although they only have 0.01% of the neurons that humans have
- Their wings flap 230 times per second.
Bees vs. Wasps
Come on we all know the answer to this one, However with the arrival of the beautiful days, one can easily be invaded by the insects, in particular, the wasps and the bees. The wasps are victims of a bad reputation, while the bees are somewhat protected. But do you know how to differentiate them?
- The major difference to remember is in the appearance of the two insects
- The bee is fluffy while the wasp is smooth
- Their size depends on the species, but they are generally between 10 and 15 mm long
- The wasps are more elongated, up to 3cm
- Wasps are also thinner in the abdomen
- The two species have a rather developed organization and distribution of roles
- In both cases, there is a queen who stays in the nest to lay eggs and the workers who are assigned to various missions during their life
Role and protection
- The role of bees in nature is essential. Without bees, there would be no reproduction of plants.
- Bees are increasingly protected because the total number of bees is in free fall in the world
- Contrary to what we tend to think, wasps are not useless. On the contrary, by feeding their larvae of insects, they act as a kind of regulator, thus preventing the spread of insects.
- The damage of a bee or wasp sting on humans is about the same
- In general, this remains without consequences, but some allergic people can suffer from it. As well as bites in vulnerable places.
- Bees lose their sting after biting a victim. Wasps, on the other hand, can successfully bite several times before emptying all of its venoms.
Be kind to Bees and save all you can. Our planet will NOT survive without them! If they’re in your compost pile stick to the plan and move them somewhere safe. Hey, why not start up Beekeeping and make your own honey!