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Author Topic: Mean, Mean, Mean, MEAN Bees  (Read 6112 times)
Barny
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« on: June 26, 2005, 03:50:29 PM »

I am dealing with the most aggressive, rotten bees that I have ever experienced.  This older gentleman explained to me that he had a hive of bees in his back yard that had been there for 2 or 3 months.  First off, the hive had been there for 2 or 3 YEARS, not months and there were grape vines and trees growing all around their hive that was in an industrial sized tire (18 wheel size).  Well first off I bring an unexperience friend to assist in lifting.  Before I even touch the tire-hive my friend and I already have at least 50 bees each bumping us.  I get my smoker and smoke the snot out of them and proceed to try and move the tire.  This tire must have been totally full of comb and packed with honey because it weighed over a hundred pounds, at least.  Well right off the bat I get a bad vibe and I turn and tell my friend to go back to the truck, away from the hive.  As I back off I become completely covered in bees looking for any chink in my armor and they found a few places.  So after getting hit a number of times I make a hasty retreat for a regrouping and rethinking.

I return the next day with duck tape, a large plastic drop cloth, and a wet sheet.  I first put all my armor on which includes a towel around my neck, duck tape on my ankles and on both the inside of my wrists and the outside of my gloves.  I put the wet sheet on the front of the hive to slow the onslaught and employeed my friend to help flip the tire face down so I can put the wet sheet on the back side of the tire.  After doing this we flip the tire a couple more times in order to put the hive on the plastic sheet.  I then enshroud the tire in as many layers of plastic that I can and again make a hasty retreat.  In this ordeal I get stung 4 times on the face due to a small tear in the topside of my veil.

I brought a much more experienced friend this time when I returned this morning with a large tarp.  Once again the bees met me before I got out of the truck.  I applied my armor again, this time fixing my veil.  I placed this tarp over the wraped tire and begin to put soil all around the tire to make sure there is no exit hole.  I then grap a water hose and wet the soil into mud so it will stay and also hit the beard that had regrouped.  

I will let the sun and attrition kill the rest.  I have never been met with so much resistance ever from any bees.  I am no bee expert, but I feel assured that these are in fact Africans.  My gloves were covered in stingers as was the rest of my suit.  These bees would also not stop their attack no matter how far away from the hive I got.  Their fury is unmatched in my experience with the species.  I will only let my other bees scavange the tire when, and only when there are no more bees alive in this hive.  

Have others here had many responses like mine?  I would never have become a beekeeper if they were all like this.
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banjojohn
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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2005, 04:57:23 PM »

Barney,  Those must be the African strain, I have 5 hives from various places and I can run a weedeater right around them, even the front. Mine are in a pasture and they must be used to annimals close to them. I hope the A strain doesn't make it up here, it might change my mind about keeping too.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2005, 05:05:08 PM »

Hey Barny,

Brian ran into a group. He was down at Trent, TX after  a hive I saw building under a canopy out in the open. His wife discovered another bunch in a wall of another deserted building. He went over there and as soon as he walked though the door there were a bunch out to great him. He then stabbed his hive tool into the sheetrock, and that was it for him. Fully suited up he got about "ten stings in about 20 seconds" (his words). He had to go several hundred yards before they would leave him alone.
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rainbow sunflower  Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.   rainbow sunflower

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Horns Pure Honey
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« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2005, 05:20:45 PM »

I can pull weeds from the front of my hives without protection as long as I am to the side. Smiley
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Ryan Horn
stilllearning
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Location: Clarendon,Texas


« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2005, 05:44:28 PM »

Barney;
     I think from information I have seen in post from you and JerryMac,
you must be close to Lubbock County , Texas.  If so there have been
African Colonies in that area, since 2001.  Your first statement said
you and your friend had 50 or so bees bumping you. This is one of the
first warning signs of an African Colony.  The only sure method is to have
them tested at College Station you need to send at least 50 bees for
testing.  Destroying the hive as you did should help unless you let a few
drones live and they join other hives. Really africans in Texas are
a fact and even though there are several counties in the northern part that
have not been quartined, we should assume we all have some africans in
our areas.  Requeening every year is our best defense but that still doesnt
get rid of the drones so that yeilds possibly up to 50% africans.
     Good luck and be careful with them, I personally would not try to get
rid of an african swarm unless it was an emergency, I would call one of the people who specialize in getting rid of them and I have been keeping
bees for 50 years. One of the best I have ever seen was from the Carl Hayden Bee Research center and he uses no veil, gloves or suit and only soapy water.
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Wayne Cole
Jerrymac
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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2005, 08:19:37 PM »

No we are not close to Lubbock County.

We are in Lubbock County  cheesy
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rainbow sunflower  Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.   rainbow sunflower

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Barny
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Location: Lubbock TX


« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2005, 02:04:51 AM »

I neglected to mention that I have about 20 hives that I manage with no real problems, many of them are ferel.  These bees look no different then any other I have seen, but the aggression was intense to say the least.  I have no doubt that they would have killed any mammal within 50 feet of the hive the day that I was "disturbing" them.

On a side note, how long should a hive remain alive under "wraps" in the Texas sun?  Our forecast is mid 90s and mid 60s for the rest of the week with few clouds.  The hive has plenty of honey and pollen stored, so lack of water and heat should be their downfall.  Any educated guesses?  I'm thinking a week roughly, but I know I will not move the tire until it goes silent.
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stilllearning
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Location: Clarendon,Texas


« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2005, 06:32:43 AM »

I guess I asked for that Jerrymac
I know Wolfforth and Lubbock are both in Lubbock county
I was not sure where either of you kept your bees
I live in Donley but have bees close to other cities
back to Barney
I would think a week under a tent would kill anything
I know at Camp Post one day was enough to almost kill
us as boy scouts in our tents with the door and windows
open    I left an entrance reducer in 2 days one time and killed an
entire hive due to heat
excellent pictures Jerrymac of the beevac
I am going to incorporate the mousetrap in my modifications of my own
vac.
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Wayne Cole
Jerrymac
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« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2005, 07:07:01 AM »

I couldn't pass it up.

I'm a couple of miles west of Wolfforth on five acres. My bees are here. I have some land 60 miles south of Alpine I hope to get some bees down there for the desert honey.
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rainbow sunflower  Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.   rainbow sunflower

 Jerry

My pictures.Type in password;  youview
     http://photobucket.com/albums/v225/Jerry-mac/
Anonymous
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« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2005, 01:22:54 PM »

Wow.  I hope africanized bees never make it as far north as us.  I've heard that they can't survive our winters.

I just saw a program on the Discovery Channel about Africanized honey bees.  They look no different than any other honey bee, but apparently their neural receptors for detecting threats are much more sensitive and their reactions are greatly amplified.  It was a facinating program to watch, but pretty scary in reality.
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bill
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Location: midland texas


« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2005, 11:41:01 PM »

I am about eighty or so miles from lubbock. there aren't many beekeepers here in midland, not that I know anyway the ones I do know are kinda inactive. there is an association in odessa 20 miles away. I talked to the president on the phone but though he was nice enough he didn't seem very enthusiastic. and said that they still had a meeting but hardly anyone was doing much because of the african bees. My best contact has been this forum. I can't say enough about how helpful it is. Now you guys in lubbock are like me cause I ain't gonna let no african bees keep me out of beekeeping. I started at sixty eight, but I wish I had got into it a lot earlier If i was closer to lubbock I i would like to get in on some of your adventures. I have had a laugh or two myself and dodged a few kami kazi bees, but that bunch in the tire are about the worst I have heard of. My friend in the farmers market says she had a hive so mean that she finally just taped the entrance and let them cook.. I will be looking forward to following your lubbock gang adventures.  But the best thing about the african bees is that they are the reason that I got all my equipment free. though I gave the guy a fifty and will give him another hundred when the farmers market money starts rolling in. but the extractor alone would have cost a fortune, not to mention lots of hive bodies and bottoms inner covers and lids,and enough old frames to burn for firewood
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billiet
Michael Bush
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« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2005, 05:45:58 PM »

I'd split the hive up into managable units (which, depending on HOW hot they are, may be one frame to each nuc) and requeen.  I've requeened, but there is no way to find the old queen with a strong hive nor does a hot hive like that readily accept a new queen.  That's why you have to split them up.
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Michael Bush
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bill
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« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2005, 09:22:38 PM »

as soon as I get a little table honeyI am going to split them and try introducing the new queen on one frame of brood and then use a screen divider before I let the general population in. I am also waiting to let the farmers market pay the expenses of requeening. Meanwhile I want at least enough honey for me eat, and I am too proud to buy any Cheesy
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billiet
wingmaster
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« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2005, 05:12:15 AM »

Get a bug sprayer with some soppy water and you can control those nasty bees. I don't like killing bees but some times its easer than dealing with them. And I would not want to give the news some more killer bee stories. Fear is harder to deal with than the nasty bees. If there out some place away from people and in a hive I will force a queen on them but its not easy to do.  huh
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Finsky
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« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2005, 06:33:59 AM »

You may put an empty hive on old place and there one frame of brood.

You move the old hive. Half of bees fly to the new hive and then you give them a new queen.  Or you let them make their own queen from egg frame which is from good hive. Egg-laying gap will be good because bees nothing else to do than collect  honey.

After that main hive is easier to handle, because there is only young bees.  If it is not willing to co-operate, after a week do the same trick again and hive will get smaller.  OR...

You put two empty hive and put there  exhauster or what is that, which let bees one direction but not back and excluder with that. It forces bees away from queen and soon you have some hundred bees and the queen.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2005, 10:31:37 AM »

If you put an empty box at the old location all the older field bees go back there.  I suppose if you wanted to put a nuc there that had already accepted a queen, they would already be delt with.  If you put each box on it's own bottom 10 yards or so away from the original hive, you divide them up into managable units.  I can think of variations that would probably work, but they don't work that much better.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Barny
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Location: Lubbock TX


« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2005, 01:32:20 AM »

This is not a hive in a box, but a hive in an old Tire.  There are no managable units.
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Finsky
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« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2005, 04:03:45 AM »

Quote from: Barny
This is not a hive in a box, but a hive in an old Tire.  There are no managable units.



 shocked  : Tongue

If you can move the tyre some 10 feet and then put the hivebox on the place, and a brood frame from another hive.

You can also put hive to the top of tyre, and bees move to better apartment.   ... Or you just kill them. Pour hot water on, gasoline or something awfull things.
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Barny
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Location: Lubbock TX


« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2005, 11:16:45 AM »

Well Finsky I prefer a more non-toxic way of killing them vs. gasoline evil .  Hopefully the past few days have done their trick under our very hot Texas sun.  We have had no clouds the last three days so I am keeping my fingers crossed that they are done for now.  I will check on them this afternoon.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2005, 12:59:02 PM »

Like he said.  Move the tire and leave a box with some comb in it's place.  Then when they calm down take on the tire.  I wouldn't try it without a full suit with a ZIP-ON veil.  Smiley
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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