“Do I need to be worried?

by Prince Of Petworth May 25, 2016 at 9:45 am 23 Comments

bee swarm
Photo by bajidc

“Dear PoPville,

Any idea what kind of bees these are and if I need to be worried? Or maybe the residents of PoPville might have an idea and some advice?”

These look like good honeybees – time to call the DC Beekeepers:

“Spring is here and honeybees sometimes go searching for new homes. They (and we) could really use your help. If you see a swarm of bees, please call or text (202) 255-4318 or email [email protected] and and a team of DC beekeepers will spring into action to give house-searching honeybees the home they are looking for! Insecticides will not take care of your situation, but we can.”

  • anon6

    One thing is for certain. They are everywhere, and your firearms are useless against them.

    • houseintherear

      They’re ripping off my flesh!

  • Tom

    I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords

  • LittleBluePenguin

    yay! Honeybees! Such important little creatures!

    • I Dont Get It

      Yes we should be worried if we DON’T see them.

  • transplanted

    I’m jealous! I want a hive but it’s an ongoing debate with my SO. If they just showed up en masse I could claim fate and settle the question.

    • That Man A

      Same i want one as well
      one of the coolest ones ive seen (not sure if its still there or not) was on the roof of the pierce school (MD Ave NE)
      They now make some that have spigots to retrieve the honey… pretty cool stuff

  • Hill Denizen

    I have no idea, but that picture made gag.

  • Truxton Thomas

    I’d only be worried about what mosquito control might do to the little guys.

    • LittleBluePenguin

      +10000 – seriously, hive collapse is a really huge problem and all extra freaking-out over Zika might have even more devastating consequences for these super important workers!

  • JohnWashDC

    Big Question! Love bees and their little hives. However, I have a neighbor who is extremely allergic – she has a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). A sting for her is potentially life threatening and requires immediate emergency treatment. The next door neighbor installed a hive. My neighbor is terrified and will no longer go in her own backyard and cannot get to her car without extreme fear. Does anyone have advice? She is at her wit’s end.

    • wdc

      She needs to carry an epi pen. And not walk barefoot through the grass. I have only ever been stung by honey bees when I was walking barefoot across a lawn with clover in it. Honeybees are ordinarily quite docile.

      • I’m sensitive to honeybee stings, but not full-blown allergic. I was stung a few years ago when I walked past some flowers outside my back door that bees were visiting, and one apparently got up my shorts. I didn’t discover it until it stung me some time later while I was watching TV indoors. Ended up with an enormous welt on my thigh–just glad it didn’t climb any higher! A year or so later, a lady who was visiting my garden got stung on the tongue by a bee that had somehow gotten into her drink.

        And my sister-in-law was stung on the head a couple of years ago when a honeybee flew into her hair as she was walking near her sister’s hive (which was badly placed next to her house, and near a walkway).

        In a nutshell, this woman has great cause for concern if she’s seriously allergic to bee stings. Honeybees are not aggressive, but you can still get stung.

    • wdc

      Remember, a honey bee dies when it stings. The whole back bit of its abdomen tears off with the stinger. The bee is evolutionarily motivated NOT to sting you.

      • Not really, because the worker bees don’t reproduce. They are there to defend the hive and its queen, and are expendable. Domesticated (European) honey bees are less aggressive because they’ve been bred to be less aggressive (for obvious reasons).

    • That MAn A

      As they said honey bees really dont sting too often
      typically if the hive is threatened i believe
      when i was young i used to pet them

    • 2k10

      She should consider going to an allergist and see if she can get immunotherapy to be desensitized. I did. Was not fun but I no longer fear for my life around bees.

    • Wheels

      Does your neighbor know for certain which kinds of bees she’s allergic to? I was tested when I was a teen after I broke out in hives and was only severely allergic to yellow jackets/wasps. I also got a series of allergy shots and no longer get hives from bee stings. Also as previously mentioned, hope she has an EpiPen.

      • Anonamom

        Agreed with this. Between me and my kids, I have become way-too well acquainted with the ins and outs of allergies. For allergies resulting in anaphylaxis, current protocol is to have very specific testing done in order to ensure that you are truly allergic to what you think you are allergic to. There’s really no reason to go through life being deathly afraid of something that may not actually have a potential-life threatening effect. Before it was just “avoid x, it could kill you”

    • dcd

      I was severely allergic (potential anaphylaxis) to certain insect stings as a child. I knelt on a yellow jacket nest and received 30+ stings, and was very fortunate my father decided to speed me to the doctor instead of waiting for an ambulance n our rural community. I received allergy shots for 8 or so years after that, and had to carry a “kit” – which in those days wasn’t an epi pen, but a full blown hypodermic with adrenalin. In any event:
      – She should get an allergy test – it’s possible that she’s only allergic to certain stings. I was only allergic to yellow jackets, 2 kinds of wasps and hornets. It freaked me out when stung by a honeybee, but I never had any reaction.
      – She can take allergy shots, which are painful and expensive, but did eliminate my allergy.

    • Count Pheasant

      A long-term solution is immunotherapy. One of my parents is undergoing bee allergy shots to finally eliminate a life-threatening allergy. It’s a long process of getting shots, with decreasing frequency, over the course of five years. Better than death, though.

  • Y.U. Parcthar

    The only cheap way to catch a buzz in DC – a bee hive.

    Welcome back, Spring!

  • I Dont Get It

    Is The Bureau of Misdirected Destiny back?


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