European honeybees are commonly found on Starr Ranch. Although they were harder to find over the last several years, more recently they have become quite common again and hives are found in many natural cavities all over Starr Ranch. The comings and goings of the bees at this cavity are not a threat to the owls and occur from time to time. The bees are not in an aggressive mode – they are not defending a hive – and there’s not a lot exposed area on the owls that’s “stingable” anyway. They may “annoy” the owls, but that’s about the extent of it.
However, if the bees decide to start a hive in the cavity, then we will get to watch them build it and the owls will find a new spot. I make no apologies for saying upfront that I will not intervene should bees decide to take over the cavity. For one thing, there is not much I can do to prevent the bees from checking out the cavity. And if they do decide to build I’ve already learned that it is almost impossible to find a beekeeper willing to come out and move the hive to another location – especially one 40 feet up in a tree. And I will not exterminate them.