Unique Features (Issues?) of my Workshop #2: The Bee-Hive

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Blog entry by PG_Zac posted 11-06-2009 11:24 PM 1609 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Leaking Roof Part 2 of Unique Features (Issues?) of my Workshop series Part 3: Swallow Cr@p »

I am being tested. I KNOW it’s a test.

You see, I’m all for conservation and preserving the environment. I preach (and try to practice) a philosophy of live and let live, but some thing are just beyond acceptable, like mosquitoes, and bees IN the workshop. Not just any old honey bee, but the African (killer) honey bee. These guys are not friendly, and have been known to attack people using electrical tools because the EM field disturbs them.

Anyway, there is a wild hive in the hollow base of a large tree just 2 metres from my workshop’s back wall. That I can live with, but they outgrew the hollow, and decided to extend their home as any normal growing family would. They can’t hollow out any more of the tree, so they looked around for some adjacent real estate, and found the workshop roof. Actually it is the ceiling void above my tool-room – the only ceiling in all of the outbuildings, and it is conveniently within spitting distance.

Here is their original home with my workshop wall just at the corner in the left of the picture.

Initially, I let them stay, but as the hive extension grew, they started using the workshop as their access route in and out of the hive. Like any sane person, I tried to chase these undesirables out of the neighbourhood using gentle persuasion – I gassed them with smoking fumigation pills. I got stung for my antisocial actions. (I also was stung while sweeping off the roof -previous post)

3 days later, they returned to their new accommodations, and within another day their highway was through the workshop again. This time I had my son gas them. He can achieve a zen-like state of tranquillity that doesn’t disturb the bees. 2 days later I decided that they weren’t going to cooperate and had to find an alternative. I decided we had to provide them with better accommodation closer to their main home.

I lifted the roof panel during the day and left it open until nightfall.


I then set up a scrap roof panel as their new floor at the base of the wall, made a hive box from scraps, and placed it on their new floor.

After dark when they had mostly gone to sleep, my son & I moved the panel off the roof,

and placed it on the hive box.

The next morning, they were moved in as if nothing had ever happened.

So I was tested to see if I could live up to my own standards.

I think I passed the test.

Now to repair the gaping hole in the roof after I had already repaired it once before.

Next episode in a few hours.

-- I may be schizophrenic, but at least I have each other.

11 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3645 days

#1 posted 11-06-2009 11:30 PM

impressive. and very thoughtful! when do we see the honey production picking up?

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Jimi_C's profile


507 posts in 3232 days

#2 posted 11-06-2009 11:41 PM

You’re a better man than me, Charlie Brown. Especially considering they were African “killer” bees, those suckers would have been taken out. In my youth, I made the mistake of stepping on a hive of yellow jackets. 25+ stings later (luckily not allergic), I’m not a fan of anything with a stinger.

-- The difference between being defeated and admitting defeat is what makes all the difference in the world - Upton Sinclair, "The Jungle"

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 3288 days

#3 posted 11-06-2009 11:52 PM

I absolutely hate bees and wasps. I’ve never been stung, and I intend to keep it that way. I’ve had wasps try to build nests under the eaves and in the front door alcove of my house, and “shoot on sight” is my policy. Luckily, though wasps look menacing, they fold fast when hit with any commercial spray. Also luckily, I’m far enough north and at a high enough altitude that we have winters cold enough that we don’t have the African honeybees here – but you’ll find them not too much farther south.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View PG_Zac's profile


368 posts in 3385 days

#4 posted 11-07-2009 09:42 AM

I am definitely not a fan of stinging insects, but I figure that we moved to a farm to get closer to nature so we have to (largely) accept that nature is sometimes not friendly. Our bush island surrounded by sugar cane fields is a haven to many of nature’s gifts and we deliberately try to allow nature to find its own balance.

Our micro-environment includes a small buck, a clan of vervet monkeys, about 2 dozen species of birds, a wild bee hive, a few species of rodents and assorted small mammals.

Our policy is let them alone as long as they don’t interfere with us. I set rat traps in the house and the horse-feed storage area, but they are welcome to live outside. The monkeys keep to themselves, and live off the fruits of the bush. They have apparently been here for decades, and regulate their own numbers so they don’t need to raid our stores.

Sharon – I don’t think I’ll be harvesting honey any time soon – Those buggers hurt me bad, and I don’t want a repeat encounter :-) If they outgrow their new home, I’ll have to harvest to keep them contained, but we have 2 allergic people living here and I don’t want to antagonise the hive unnecessarily.

-- I may be schizophrenic, but at least I have each other.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4157 days

#5 posted 11-07-2009 11:36 AM

you definitely passed the test.

mosquitoes and flies—they are on my list of “sorry but you have to go”.
If we had killer bees here, though, I think they’d be on the list as well.

A great blog by the way.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View pommy's profile


1697 posts in 3688 days

#6 posted 11-07-2009 11:45 AM

hey PG you go carefull with thos darn things i know from experience they have one hell of a kick

-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3574 days

#7 posted 11-07-2009 03:58 PM

more brave than me I would not be removing bees from any where.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View blockhead's profile


1475 posts in 3305 days

#8 posted 11-07-2009 09:15 PM

Good for you PGZ. I’m with the rest though. If it were me, those buggers would have been long gone, especially if they were around anyone allergic. Spiders, bees, wasps, etc. don’t need’em close to me. Looking forward to the next installment.

-- Brad, Oregon- The things that come to those who wait, may be the things left by those who got there first.

View ChunkyC's profile


856 posts in 3251 days

#9 posted 11-07-2009 09:21 PM

Your a better man that I! I would have burned the house down to get rid of them. I hate bees, read as petrified by them and the older I get, the worse the fear becomes.

-- Chunk's Workshop pictures:

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3819 days

#10 posted 11-08-2009 06:34 AM

I will say this you are indeed a better man than me. I relocate various insects (including wasps) and any spider that come into the house. But I would have had to take these guys out since they insisted on crossing the line and nesting in your shop. And with people being allergic to them in the house this would just be too big a risk for me to take. This summer, even though I felt guilty about doing it, I took out a yellow jacket nest that was located about 50’ from the house because the grandchlildren play in the backyard when they are over and I did not want to risk them getting stung.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View PG_Zac's profile


368 posts in 3385 days

#11 posted 11-22-2009 04:11 PM

Thanks for the tip.

I heard another good tip yesterday. Paint creosote all over the entrances to potential hive spaces. Apparently they detest the stuff, and stay away from what could be a perfect hive spot.

-- I may be schizophrenic, but at least I have each other.

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