Tales From The Nest                         Go back to the tales list

The Nest In My Yard

Date: October 2007

After a local television affiliate in Jefferson County filmed a wild bee
nest hanging from a tree in Nederland, TX, right across the road from
Nederland High School, Bee Solutions LLC was called to come look
at the problem.

After we looked at this approximately 60-pound nest hanging from a
tree about 12 to 14 feet off the ground, our recommendation was to
exterminate it immediately. This nest was only mildly aggressive at
the time, harassing the owners when they mowed their yard.

The nest exhibited numerous Africanized characteristics. One of the
most noticeable characteristics was the nest hanging out in the open
air. Some strains of European bees a small amount of the time will
build an open-air nest. But the vast majority of the time Europeans
prefer an inside void: a wall, a tree, or some other enclosed structure.

Another characteristic since this was a late Fall nest, was that there
were only 4,000 to 6,000 bees on this nest. African hives swarm
multiple times per year, 12 to 20, resulting in fewer and fewer adult
bees left on the nest. This nest weighed 60 pounds and consisted of
eight separate combs about 24 inches long each and about 18
inches in width.

There was almost no honey in this hive, which is an Africanized
characteristic. They produce honey like European bees do but store
very little. They choose to use every drop of nectar to make new
babies to support these 12 to 20 swarms they go through in one
season. The six inside combs in this nest were solid, sealed brood,
which would have meant 30,000 to 40,000 bees hatching out in the
next three to four weeks had they been left alone.

It is unknown how many times this nest swarmed from March to
October, but this day it swarmed no more and was exterminated.