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Registered: July 2008
Location: Penang Malaysia
Posts: 4,797
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· Date: July 16, 2009 · Views: 10084 ·
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blue grass

Registered: September 2008
Posts: 995
August 17, 2009 4:37am

I saw something quite amazing this morning in the garden. I heard an unusual sound coming from a palm tree but could not see what caused it. A little later I spotted a raptor sitting on a tree nearby and then to my amazement it flew on to the large frond making the sound I had heard earlier. I checked my books and confirmed it was a Oriental Honey-Buzzard. It was landing on the leaf because below it was a hornet's nest, the size of a small coconut. I saw it fly to and fro a couple more times and by now the hornets were buzzing around. All of a sudden the bird swooped below the leaf and made off with the nest. I was hoping to see it tear apart the nest to get at the larvae but unfortunately it flew away with the nest clasped in its claws. Oriental Honey-Buzzard feeds chiefly on larvae of wasps and bees.
kayes

Registered: July 2008
Location: Penang Malaysia
Posts: 4,797
August 17, 2009 6:27am

hi Blue Grass, that was a most interesting happening. Thanks for telling us. Good thing the hornets didn't zero in on you Smile
blue grass

Registered: September 2008
Posts: 995
August 18, 2009 12:28am

Hi Kayes, multiple stings from hornets can be deadly and I was careful to shut the windows. I also had to hide behind the curtains so as not to frighten off the Honey-Buzzard. The drama I witnessed yesterday unfolded less than 8 metres from me and I could even see the hornets buzzing angrily round the bird! That close I was!
blue grass

Registered: September 2008
Posts: 995
August 29, 2009 6:33am

Kayes, thought you might like to know that the Honey-Buzzard was in the garden again this morning. It sat high up in a tree majestically surveying the area, no doubt looking out for bees that would indicate where the bee hives are. There is actually a honey-bee hive under the eves of a low shed but this would be trickier to get at. I only hope I am not potting around in that part of the garden if the bird decides to have a go at the hive!!
blue grass

Registered: September 2008
Posts: 995
September 7, 2009 6:35pm

An update on the honey-bees. The colony was growing bigger by the day and fearful for our dogs as they might get curious about this moving black mass, we decided to smoke them out. I could have contacted the fire brigade but they would have burnt the hive and I really did not want the bees exterminated. Our plan worked after two days and the colony migrated to a tree branch nearby. What a relief.
Ken Chan

Registered: July 2008
Location: Chicago. IL, USA
Posts: 1,170
September 7, 2009 8:05pm

Hi Blue Grass,
You are right to exercise caution when dealing with bees and hornets. Some individuals are hypersensitive to bees or hornets and even a single sting can cause extremely detrimental reaction in the body. Over here, there is a species of wasp called yellow jackets that are very pesky. Some years back, a few of these were building a hive on a window sill in our backyard. We had it removed before it got out of control. It is always prudent to seek help from City Hall or pest control professionals if we cannot deal with these bothersome insects on our own.
blue grass

Registered: September 2008
Posts: 995
September 9, 2009 6:04am

Hi Ken
I wonder if the hornets we have here are the same as your yellow jackets. If you remember, these hornets are black and yellow and much larger than the honey-bees. The honey-bees are still on a branch and it is interesting to see that when it is cool, the colony move closer and in the heat of the day spread out elongated along the branch. My gardener says honey-bees unlike hornets are not aggressive and to prove his point he used a stick and gently poked the bees. The bees swayed as a single mass and nothing happened! Not one attacked him. We have collected the honeycombs and they are really pretty. The bees had not started producing honey yet.
I do not have them in our garden but their bites are ever so painful - tiger ants. Do you remember these ants Ken? They are red and black and about a centimetre long. Just one bite will cause swelling and an itch that lasts and lasts. And then there are the dreaded red ants whose bites also cause swelling and itch.
Orange

Registered: February 2009
Posts: 3,163
September 11, 2009 6:20am

Very dreadful of bees as my dad had to be hospitalised in Batu Gajah hospital for being stung by them.


As for those honey bees, used to see plenty of them flying around sugar cane stalls in Ipoh. Those sugar cane sellers told us those honey bees are harmless.


Hardly see any sugar cane stalls where they roll those freshly cut sugar canes in electric-operated machines to get the sugar cane juice in Klang Valley nowadays. Sad



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