Vitex Negundo Incisa. Explorer, Frank N Meyer found Vitex Negundo in Shantung, China. Mr. Meyer describes Vitex Negundo as "a sage which may prove to be a good plant for the arid Southwestern states. It is able to resist alkali remarkably well. The Chinese use it for basketry manufacture, taking the annual shoots for this purpose. It has pretty blue flowers and is diligently visited by all kinds of bees, and as such it might be grown in gardens as a semi-ornamental shrub. It grows, when left alone, up to 20 feet tall."
H.B. Parks, in a letter to Frank C. Pellett, author of American Honey Plants, stated that it "makes a wonderful growth and that it is a most remarkable honey plant" (observations made in Texas). However, Vitex agnus-castus, though it blooms profusely, is not much value to bees.
So when it is stated that Vitex agnus is an improved selection of Vitex Negundo is it really? Vitex agnus has been "improved" for larger, showier flowers and there is no doubt that bees do still visit those flowers however their nectar yield is not the same had it been Vitex Negundo.
This cinder block wall has many possible locations for a feral bee swarm to enter and start a hive. The holes in the mortared block go through to the hollow centers, and the cracked block on the top of the wall lends for access into one of the hollow voids. These locations are prime real estate for honeybees.
The Green marks the middle where a cinder block has a center cement divider, two hollow spots on each side of these dividers, stacked off-set gives a hollow center for the bees to grow up or down depending on where the hole is in the wall. When doing removals from block walls I have also seen where the center cement divider was chipped allowing for bees to crawl through to the next cavity and continue their growth. In one hive one side was honey storage the other side was brood. The red shows the possible area where the bees could make their home.
The best thing to do is to block these entrance access points before spring. If you have a cinder block wall or building, walk around and do an inspection. Patch any holes that are larger than the head of a pencil eraser that have access into the center void. This includes around pipes if it is a building. Do not use foam spray, bees can chew through it and it doesn't last very long in the elements. Choose to use a concrete patch. If you cannot get to it before spring a quick temporary solution is to stuff the holes with steel wool.
If you have never checked your wall before it may be possible you already have occupants that you didn't know about. If you do find a feral hive here is a contact list of local beekeepers: http://southernazbeekeepers.org/bee-removal/
With my morning coffee in hand I started cleaning off my desk! Didn't get too far without having to post a few items for sale. These can be found on https://www.etsy.com/shop/PrehistoricCollFinds or here under Items for Sale. Hunger is getting the best of me and so I am off to bake some biscuits to go with an experiment canned gravy this morning. I will be happy to have the oven on and feel some warmth! It is coooold in my office!
Thumbs down.........Did not pass hubby's picky palate. It was okay to me but then I eat everything and have an iron gut. Dan has a philosophy that he doesn't want to eat canned food until the TSHTF and that we should stock up but not eat it.....man just doesn't understand expiration dates.....I have one more can that is expiring soon and I will use it to top the dogs dry food. The guard dog crew will be thrilled to have it and won't give me any lip about it at all. lol! Been having problems getting the lab mixes to eat their dry food fast enough before the mastiff is finished and ready to steal theirs. Our indoor mastiff just came upstairs to the office......she can count plates and only has had Dan's so far. She wants my breakfast plate to lick so she likes the gravy too.
Believe it or not this space will be a guest house! It is a retired 1985 Motor Home. The Captains chairs that were once the seating for the driver and passenger are now removed. Next step is to pull out the steering wheel.
The old refrigerator wasn't working. So it was pulled out and college dorm size unit was put in its place. The spot above will turn into a coffee/tea station.
And the old stinky love seat / bar-in-back hide-a-bed has been removed.
Very aggressive hive. Homeowners only noticed it for the past three weeks but this hive had been there much longer. The end fascia was removed and we pulled out enough brood to wire into 5 deep frames, the comb was dark, letting us know they have been there sometime. When the hive was moved to our apiary it was so defensive that we went ahead and split it in hopes to give them a slight attitude adjustment. I normally don't recommend doing that this time of the year, but these bees left me no choice. AHB is more manageable in smaller hives and the queens will be replaced in early Spring. Note the entrance of the hive ran between the bricks and the wood board, just behind the PVC tubes.