Bees In Sound Wall

Received a call the other day regarding bees in a sound wall. I went for a site check and found a colony of honey bees that made home inside the wall which I’m sure is hollow inside.

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Because the sound wall was very high and the other side was the freeway, I suggested to drill a new entrance on the freeway side of the wall and seal up the current entrance that’s facing the apartment complex but the property management wanted them gone ASAP and asked me to kill them any way possible. My goal is to save the bees if possible and in this case it is possible but the ones making the final decision didn’t want to even bother so I opted not to take this job.

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3 Responses to Bees In Sound Wall

  1. Todd says:

    Hey Jack-
    Here’s a good one for you. I have a hive in Woodside. The hive was started from scratch this spring, and they’ve done great for a startup hive. They’ve built out two deeps with tons of honey, and I just harvested a medium that was 80% full with capped honey. The honey is real dark, and I attributed that to all the coniferous trees in the area. I sliced off and piece of comb the other night and dug in. To my dismay, it tasted horribly awful. It’s got to be all that pine resin. It leaves a very acrid taste and is in no way delicious. Have you heard of this happening before? Also, wondering if I should even keep a hive at the same location next year? I would like to sell the honey locally, but I can’t sell this stuff! Any help would be appreciated.

    Todd

  2. Hey Todd,

    When you consume honey do you prefer the lighter or darker? I prefer the darker. Just harvested some and it’s delicious. Sold some of it and people loved it and wanted more but I kept the rest for myself. I like the darker honey. Most dark honey is very strong in “honey” taste.

    But anyways, light or dark, the taste will vary depending on what the bees are foraging on. I have some light honey from an early Spring harvest that I didn’t like much, kind of tasted like medicine to me but some others liked it. Your really dark honey, they must have been foraging on something that made it not so pleasant tasting. I have heard bitterweed, ragweed, and others that make horrible honey. Not sure what there is in Woodside that would produce a “bad” honey.

    Since the bees have been doing so well there I would leave the hive there and harvest only the lighter colored honey compared to this really dark type. If the honey does not taste good enough to sell, feed it back to the bees. Or you can always do a taste test right at the hive before you extract the honey.

    Also, not sure if you keep hive logs. Figure out when you put that super on and you know what period of time they harvested the honey. Then next year you know not to harvest from that super in that period they filled it.

    I’m going to be at the Roger Reynolds Nursery & Carriage Stop in Menlo Park on Oct 15th between 1-4 PM. They have asked me to bring some honey to sell and also talk to people about bees. Selling honey isn’t my main goal. Making new beekeepers is. I won’t be bringing bees but will bring an empty hive setup, drawn combs, etc. If you have time, swing by with a 2 pound jar of honey and we can trade. I’d like to try some of that REALLY DARK honey. 🙂
    In the meantime, you have a picture you can email me of the honey?

    • Todd says:

      Thanks Jack. I posted on some other forums and got an interesting response about what it could be. A few people mentioned that it could be honeydew honey, that is that the bees fed on aphid excrement (since it is 90% sugar) and that is what gives it its very strong flavor. It’s especially prevalent in the Black Forest in Germany and other coniferous zones. People will pay a premium for it from the sound of it.

      I will try and stop by on October 15. Thanks again!

      Todd

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