Tales From The Nest                         Go back to the tales list

The Water Meter Surprise

Date: February 2008

An acquaintance and fellow beekeeper of Bee Solutions LLC was
called to a home in Nome, TX, just out of Beaumont.

Upon arriving, the homeowner told the beekeeper that he had been
stung 5 to 7 times when weed-eating around his water meter.

The beekeeper suited up and opened the water meter to see how
bad the bees were. He was immediately covered with bees stinging
his suit.

The wild hive was exterminated.

Inside the meter, seven separate combs were found that filled the
entire void of the meter. Again, there was very little honey on the comb
and lots of sealed brood.

A sample was collected and sent to A & M at College Station for
testing. The results came back three weeks later. As of this date, this
is the worst sample that we have found. This colony was more
Africanized than European. The percentage tested out 51.2%
Africanized.

African bees love underground voids. European bees will not typically
nest in these kinds of areas. Europeans prefer a little higher off the
ground. It is believed that they have this behavior to get above some of
their natural predators. African bees do not share this concern, since
they are so aggressive. They are not afraid of any one or anything.

Only a good State-restricted pesticide is advised in fighting these
Africanized nests, something with a quick knock-down of 15 seconds
or less.

As a homeowner, you should never try to spray an established nest of
bees with over-the-counter aerosol pesticides. These pesticides will
of course kill bees, fairly quickly. The problem is, aerosol propellants
in a lot of these products cause the bees to release alarm
pheromones which trigger a mass attack. You could get more than
you bargained for by trying to solve this problem yourself.