Honey bees!

Asked July 26, 2020, 10:05 PM EDT

7/26/20 I have been invaded by honey bees at all my water features in the last week or so. I was delighted at first but there are so many now the birds won't use the birdbaths. They are not going to any of my flowers but just lapping up the water all day long. No sign of a swarm or know of no nearby beehives. In the 38 years I have lived in North Albany, I have never encountered this situation. My neighbors have them as well. I'm curious if others have reported this phenomenon around the county and perhaps why this is happening. I've hardly had a bee in the yard for years, so this truly is a surprise! Thank you in advance for any input you might share.

Benton County Oregon

1 Response

I am so sorry to hear about the invasion. The visits are associated with the high temperatures. Honey bees keep their colonies regulated at very precise temperatures, much like most mammals do. While we sweat on a hot day to increase evaporation, bees collect water and then, essentially, blow air bubbles at the hive entrance to increase the rate of cooling. It looks like this heat wave will end towards the end of the week, but until then the bees will be looking to-and-fro for sources of water. At OSU we recommend that local beekeepers put water on their property in advance of hot weather to reduce the number of bees visiting neighbors. Once bees have trained to water sources its hard to get them stop. I know this provides and explanation, but no relief, but just know that this is temporary and will stop as soon as the weather cools.

https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/em9186