Ask Uncle Joe – Summer 2014

Ask Uncle Joe – 3-26-14


Dear Uncle Joe:

Do you guys consider bees to be wildlife? Last year we had a lot of bees in a tree and I may need to address them soon. Is there a way to relocate a hive humanely? I know how important bees are but I don’t want them this close to the house. I’m afraid of being stung.

Victoria, TX

Hi Sherry,

Thanks for asking! The good news is that if they are truly honey bees and not yellowjacket wasps, the risk of being stung by them is remote, unless you intentionally agitate them for some reason.

Find out if there is a local beekeeper in the area. They might be able to help by setting up a decoy hive near the main bee entrance in the tree and coaxing the bees into it. The decoy hive (a plain wooden box could work well) needs to be in place for a few weeks until they comfortably make it their home, and then the beekeeper can smoke the bees out of the tree and into the box and then take it elsewhere.

If there is no local beekeeper search for bee removal services in your area (they will charge a fee for their service). Interview them thoroughly to make sure they will relocate the bees and not just provide “pest control” services. Also make sure they will remove all honey if some is present since left behind honey will attract other animals and insects if it is not defended by a colony of bees.

If these options do not work for you it is possible to move the bees yourself. Put on some protective clothing, making sure to tie or tape it tightly around your wrists, waist, and ankles. Bundle up some old rags or newspaper and light them on fire – just be sure you have a bucket of water or a hose nearby in case you need to quickly put out a small fire. Blow the fire out quickly because all you’re trying to do is create some smoke, and put the smoldering rags/newspaper near the entrance to the hive. Soon you’ll see the bees fly out. You may have to repeat this several times to be sure that all the bees have left the tree. Once you’re certain all the bees have left the tree, seal up the holes the bees were using as entrances and exits. You may want to consult a local arborist who can determine the health of the tree because in some cases it may need to be taken down to prevent the risk of termites migrating from the tree to your home.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes.
Uncle Joe

Dear Uncle Joe:

We recently bought some property with an old barn that we’re going to use for our horse. My husband went into the crawl space and found some boxes with some animal furs. Some were flattened and one was attached to a hoop. My husband wants to make pillows out of them but I thought there might be something we could do with them to help wildlife? Maybe pile them in the corner of the barn and let the squirrels have a warm nest?

Katie and James,
Warsaw, MO

Hello Katie and James,

Great question! I hear the question “what can I do with animal fur” from time to time but it is often from someone who has an old fur coat that they will not wear. This is a case where you can enlist the help of a local wildlife rehabilitator. You can call Wildlife Watch at 877-wildhelp, and they will give you contact information for your nearest wildlife rehabilitator. Often they can use animal furs as bedding for orphaned wildlife – to comfort them through stressful times before they are able to be released. The skin stretched on the hoop is from a beaver – this is a common way trappers prepare furs for market or display.

Uncle Joe

Dear Uncle Joe,

I’m a single dad raising a terrific daughter to respect animals and wildlife in a community that is far more pro-hunting than any should be. My daughter, Amber, came home from school recently very upset because a girl in her class told her that she and her brother went turkey hunting and she showed her pictures of her with the dead turkey. She was upset because her friend had shot the turkey and was talking about it as if it was something to be proud of. I’m glad Amber had the reaction she did but she’s having a hard time coming to terms with knowing this about her friend. We’ve always been a family that has loved animals but I don’t know exactly how to explain to her that some people hunt for enjoyment.

Thank you for your hard work for wildlife. Please come to Florida we need you here!

Tallahassee, FL

Dear Michael,

Amber sounds like a terrific kid and she’s lucky to have a dad who respects wildlife in the face of the status quo. If I were her dad, I’d first ask her to tell her friend that she does not want to hear hunting stories or see pictures of dead animals. Since this is happening in school, you might want to call the teacher and ask that this not happen in the classroom. It is the teacher’s job to make sure that students do not disrupt classroom instruction which happens when your daughter is shown hunting photos. If Amber feels comfortable approaching the teacher herself, she should do so requesting the same thing. The object of this is not to get her friend in trouble, only to control and limit what is and what is not acceptable in class. Amber may want to tell her friend how precious she feels wildlife is.
Turn this unfortunate event into an opportunity to bring her in closer touch with wildlife and nature. Spend an evening on the computer looking up wildlife native to the area quiz each other about them, and spend a day this weekend at a state park hanging out with the animals who are there. This will have a positive impact on her and on your future grandchildren should she choose to have kids of her own someday.

Uncle Joe

Dear Uncle Joe:

I just got a ducjk dynasty stuffed guy of phil roberson they are tv stars now and you on food stamps and poor.ha Ha ha ha where are the uncle joe merchandise in stores probably in the garbage bin in back ha hahah my dad watches the show with me and my dad gonna let me buy a show time with birthday money and he will give me the rest. We will go hunting and name the first duck we get Phil or maybe joe you people suck leaveus alone.

Signed ur mama

Dear Mom,

You don’t seem well, are you ok? I know I have not called in a week or so and I’m sorry about that, but it seems that you’ve gone downhill rather quickly. Is there something I can do to help? You’ve been sharp as a tack in recent years and while I know you’re getting older and might not be at the top of your game, watching Duck Dynasty and buying plushies of Phil Robertson concerns me. And you watch it with Grandpa? He died 20 years ago.

Mom, call me. I’m worried.



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Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting / C.A.S.H.
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