Bees at Home

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Living on the Guadalupe River in San Jose, California, we have had a variety of unwanted creatures move in with us, including: squirrels, mice, and recently, roof rats. We discovered the roof rats because they eat the outside of our lemons and the inside of our oranges, then leave the cored or peeled remainders hanging on the tree or all over the walkway under it: nasty! Apparently, the smart rodents eat citrus fruit to counteract rat poison.

Our latest move-in is a hive of honeybees under our roof tiles. A neighbor who is a beekeeper looked them over and said that the hive is healthy, not aggressive, and doing no harm at the top of the house. He advised leaving the insects in place and said that we would not have problems with squirrels or roof rats in the future because the bees would drive them off. He also observed that our garden (especially the roses) was perfect for bees – and offered to put two hives on our riverbank and split the resulting honey with us. We are looking forward to becoming beekeepers ourselves!

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Images by Katy Dickinson Copyright 2012

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