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Author Topic: Do your bees know you?  (Read 9294 times)
The Bee Man
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« on: May 17, 2006, 09:26:11 AM »

I never did a study on it, and I believe the answer to be no, but, some beekeepers swear that their bees know their scent (the scent of the beekeeper).  I myself find this idea a little difficult to swallow.  It is a pleasant, fanciful notion, and it has a lot of appeal, but, speaking frankly, do you all think that the bees know you from Adam?  I say that they do not, but I am willing to have my eyes opened to another view.
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photokid
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2006, 11:20:08 AM »

My bees used to greet me with head butting for about a month when I first started beekeeping. They stopped after that. I believe it's your demeanor, your scent, how nervous you are, etc. The only people who have been stung out of nowhere who have come to visit were annoying, smelly people.
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Finsky
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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2006, 11:20:56 AM »

Answer is no.

If you put blue shirt on you they attach. When you have white shirt they do not care you. If you go to windy side of hive and you odor goes into hive, bees get nervous.  When your odor go away, they say nothing.

There is no reason why you are their friend and bees have not friends, just enemies when they protect their hive.
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Finsky
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2006, 11:28:48 AM »

A human has in his brains face center where is able to store 1,5 million face. When he meet another person, brains compare persons face to the memory center. If you are not there, you are unknown.  The size of center is 1/3 of brains.

Do you think that nature has developed human face memory center into bees brains?
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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2006, 11:56:14 AM »

The bees recycle about every 40 days. Of that the older ones are the foragers and guards.  You bees don't get time to know you. And probaby don't want to get to know. Your bees don't like you. They don't care about you and are not fond of the fact that you come into their home and tear it up.

They are just waiting for you to make the wrong move that will give them a target  to lock onto. They are hoping you will stand upwind so when you breath they know that the carbon dioxide you emit is coming from your mouth and areas around that is a good area to attack.  

Bees may tolerate you invasion because we have been breeding bees to be docile. Being a pacifist doesn't mean they like you. It just means they will put up with you.

I think if it were true after a few weeks of working on AHBs they would let you work on the hive without needing a spacesuit. Well for the south american beekeepers who raise AHBs, they still used extra protection everytime.

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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2006, 01:06:46 PM »

nope, they dont care who it is if you messing with the hive....
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2006, 02:02:24 PM »

Has anyone read the article in 'Science News' about honeybees and face recognition? Here's a link with the article, I couldn't use the science news site b/c it's subscribers only:  http://www.physorg.com/news8953.html

Basically it shows that bees can differentiate faces.  Different photographs of human faces were placed at sugar solutions or bitter ones.  Over time the bees learned to associate the appropriate faces with the various solutions, avoiding the ones connected with the bitter solution and flocking to the ones with sugarwater.

I don't know if this would apply to many beekeepers, b/c most wear veils which may obscure the face too much for recognition...  But it is interesting!
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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2006, 03:00:20 PM »

While every logical bit of reason tells me bees can’t tell us apart, experience dictates otherwise.  I’ve gotten use to working around my hives in a black T-shirt and baseball hat and haven’t gotten stung.  I accidently hit a hive with a shovel wearing the same (a true Darwin moment), as they came out of the hive I waited for it to happen – it didn’t.  They buzzed around me a little then went back in the hive.  Well, I had gotten a little lax from their behavior.  I put another hive in this year from a package. I walked up to the hives to check the feeder and was headbutted within 10 feet of the hive; had to go back to the truck and hood up.  Will they stop after a while?  The other ones did. I’ve also worked some feral bees for a friend and those bees are not nice – they were the menacing little monsters looking for a chink in the armor – like up pants legs.  The bees also react differently towards people approaching the hives.  I don’t know if it’s sight or scent but they do react differently.  Might be the magic word is Pheromones. cheesy
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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2006, 01:10:54 AM »

I hate to disagree with Finsky since he is so knowledgeable but my own experience is that the bees do recongize their keeper.  However, how well he is welcomed can depend on what he's had to eat.  
Sweet drinks will draw the bees to hoover in front of your veil.  Caffiene products (coffee and soda drinks) will made the bees angry and increase your chances of getting stung--they will actually bounce off your veil.  Alcohol drives them insane, going into bees right after having a few beers will make the keeper think they've turned AHB.  Other foods that have an adverse affect are raw onions, garlic, and boiled cabage.
Run your own experment, I did, and I found it to be true; that specific odors of foodstuffs can change bees behavior.
If you go into your bees more frequrntly than every 40 days--and who doesn't?--the memory gets continually re-imprinted.
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Finsky
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« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2006, 02:42:21 AM »

It needs imagination to believe that bees know you. Why they should?

Their instinct is to protect their hive and property inside. They kill other bees which try to be their friends = robbers. Robber act like friend and try to go in.

If you have caucasian bees, world's kindest bees, do they know you when they not attach.  

What about feral bees (Tasmanian black ones) or africanized? Do they know you when attach and follow 50 meter. And other people which come near they attach. Do they know or not?  

When bees are angry, they attach against everything which move.

WHAT MEANS TO "KNOW ME": ATTACH OR SMILE ? DO BEES SMILE?

DO I HAVE EVEL HIVES AND BAD HIVES?
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downunder
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« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2006, 09:12:49 AM »

It's true that bees have individual memory and can recognise scent. We do experiments where we harness individual bees and subject them to various scents and measure tounge responses. Their ability to retain this information for a certain degree of time is quite amazing.

There are many highly involved factors that affect their ability to do this. For example;- brood reared at various different temperatures between 31-37 deg C had varying memory capacity (measured by tounge response to odours)

As for them recognising facial features, I see this as no different than recognising a triangle, hexagon, square or whatever. It's the fact that they have been trained to it and had it imprinted in their memory.

Take the food source away and within a day your facial features will be forgotten!

A bees temperament varies widely due to many factors. heat, cold, wind, moisture, floral food source (citrus flowers respond to light, can make bees very angry), nectar and pollen dearth, disturbances, pest attack (numerous SHB's aggrevate colonies and make them aggresive), queens health and productivity, colony size (more guards plus dilution of QMP)just to name a few.

With all this changing regularly it's hard for them to get use to anything. I wouldn't.

In the human's case it's not so much scent they get use to but the lack of it. Generally beekeepers know what makes them narky!  Once their pheromones are disturbed all hell can break loose.
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downunder
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« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2006, 09:21:31 AM »

The last line of this article I think sum's it up, spoken by a colleague of mine

Francis Ratnieks of Sheffield University in Sheffield, U.K., says that apparent bee revenge attacks of this sort actually occur because a torn-off stinger releases chemicals that signal alarm to nearby hivemates. Says Dyer, “bees don’t normally go around looking at faces.”


Quote from: Summerbee
Has anyone read the article in 'Science News' about honeybees and face recognition? Here's a link with the article, I couldn't use the science news site b/c it's subscribers only:  http://www.physorg.com/news8953.html

Basically it shows that bees can differentiate faces.  Different photographs of human faces were placed at sugar solutions or bitter ones.  Over time the bees learned to associate the appropriate faces with the various solutions, avoiding the ones connected with the bitter solution and flocking to the ones with sugarwater.

I don't know if this would apply to many beekeepers, b/c most wear veils which may obscure the face too much for recognition...  But it is interesting!
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« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2006, 09:40:06 AM »

I believe they LEARN YIUR STYLE of beekeeping - if you inspect enough times during their life and that they can "detect" and "respond" to any smell or STYLES you have about you.

If you are the smelly guy who savagely rips apart their home every few days - believe me, the know you as a predator, but if you are the fellow who comes and works around them seamlessly (you doing your thing, them doing theirs) then I believe you will get a relaxed almost inperceivable response.

Do they know YOU over the life of a hive - some people say though that there is a homogeneous relationship between the queen's pheromone and the beekeeper - imagine (if you will) an acceptance transmitted from the queen which instinctively notifies the workers (of countless generations from this queen) that YOU are accepted. Sounds a bit "out there" so does a mother knowing her own baby penguin among a beach of 5 million penguins, but it happens. Olfactory is OUR GREATEST SENSE couldn't it be that of our hairy little honeybees too?

Stop thinking of the world in black and white - it is a rainbow of millions of colors and concepts - most of which we will never comprehend because we are merely humans and only at the TOP of the food chain because we have brains and dexterity to create better weapons.

Toss us in to a lion cage naked and see who wins - I will put my money onthe lion EVERY TIME!
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AdmiralD
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« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2006, 10:08:27 AM »

Whose the guy who holds the record for the amount of honey from a single hive [around 400 lbs], lived [lives] around Monerry California, and wrote  2 books about beekeeping back in the 80's?

Anyway, he says that bees know thier beekeeper....And any new hive, has to get used to the keeper...He suggested old clothing hung near the hive...The bees will butt that for a while, but get used to this "person" hanging around and ignore the clothing....Then they tend to be less agressive around the keeper...

I have not tried this...as yet...
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downunder
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« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2006, 10:30:38 AM »

Sorry, It sounds very out there to me!

Whilst the norm is to think a queen is in charge and has the ability to control a hive it is often not the case. In the presence of a queens pheromones worker bees ovaries are suppressed. Remove that queen and their ovaries begin to activate due to no QMP present (survival mechanism, only way to get their DNA to next generation).  

In some colonies (ANARCHISTS), the workers are in charge right beside a healthy productive queen. They are believed to lay and mark their eggs with a queen mimicking pheromone that cannot be identified by policing workers. The result of this is that they are able to deceive a colony in order to get their genes to the next generation. In an active anarchist colony over 80% of the workers eventually switch on their ovaries and lay eggs, ultimately leading to chaos and the demise of the hive. This trait is coded in it's genes as we are able to breed it. What is interesting is the hives function normally until a pollen flow. Then the anarchy genes are switched on and the "normal" pheromonal communication system is by-passed by these sneaky workers.

The point I'm making is that pheromones are just chemical cues that elicit a response. It's likely that the calm non-smelly beekeeper doesn't intefere much with it's transmission through the hive. Drop a few frames and see what happens! Alarm pheromone galore and you have a whole new ball-game.

You would have to be in your hive almost daily for a queen to identify with your scent. Two days after training feeding, odour cue experiments finish, the memory is lost. As for then being able to transmit your scent to future generations. They didn't evolve with humans so what reason would there be for this. They are very trusting if they can!

Sure they get use to being manipulated regularly and well managed hives stay relatively calm but change your brand of soap or deoderant and see what happens.

Just my opinion, but hey I'm not the creator Cheesy
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« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2006, 11:04:52 AM »

In one experiment, I have a BA in Biology, researchers would move a sugar water source a certain predetermined distance every day further away from the hive. By the third or fifth day or week, I have to reread this now, the bees were already at the new location when the researcher arrived with their sugar water. Very smart, I guess we're kinda predictable.

Bees can prepare for a flow or a dearth. How do they know all this? We have so much to learn from these fabulous creatures. I wouldn't be surprised if they did recognize us, but my scientific background keeps me skeptical. This would be a great experiment and the results would very likely lead to incredible new technologies.

Ever heard of nanobacteria? Keep your minds open, because for all we know, we have barely scratched the surface.
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Finsky
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« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2006, 11:25:57 AM »

Lets believe that bees know me and my scent.

When I am lookin bees in flowers, they escape me - tell me why?  On my yard, in the nearby forest. But not on drinking pool. Why bees do not escape from drinking pool when they see that someone moves.
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photokid
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« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2006, 11:34:17 AM »

Maybe they got drunk on chlorine? The ones that don't escape my "be gone" almond spray used for clearing supers act a little slow sometimes.
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Finsky
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« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2006, 11:42:20 AM »

Quote from: photokid
Maybe they got drunk on chlorine? .


I have not chlorine in my pools or ponds Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2006, 11:45:32 AM »

Nanotechnology in general is a fascinating idea that is budding as we speak - the next AIRPORT TECHNOLOGY (reported on MSNBC) which is in production ISN'T retinal, finger print or other commonly thought recognition soft/hardware - it is DNA sniffers. Devices able to recognize you by your unique scent as you pass through the scanning device.

I enjoy skeptics (not talking about you Photokid, just a generalization) they need to use at least one of their five (not six or more) senses before they will believe in anything. "If you can't touch it, it must be an illusion" or "if you can't see it. it isn't there" these are hard-headed people who often lack imagination (not fantasy but expressive thought) because they can not LEAVE their box.

Some people seem to think the only things out there with a BRAIN are humans - all other creatures are just "there" to satisfy the needs of the food chain, those from microbes to the greatest species in our life time to walk the Earth - humans.

But humans are capable of miracles and monstrosities - they can achieve almost anything and are often too lazy to get out of their own way. But we tend to compare EVERY OTHER SPECIES to ourselves and in the process fail to see the greatness that these other creatures also covet.

Either side on the "Do your bees recognise you" can offer examples to prove their own point and disprove others points. I say, we have no more idea of what is happening in a bee's mind, then they have knowing what we think. You can argue that all you want, but BESIDES KNOWING that they are very anal-retentive, compulsive and meticulous - we don't really know what has carried over in the few hundred million years they have been around, at least not in their heads or the power pheromones have. Pheromones are like the engine in the hive's car - sure the hive is a car without the engine, but it isn't going anywhere, it's up on blocks in the drive way. Just because we can chemically reproduce a pheromone reaction from bees DOES NOT MEAN it is a COMPLETE fix (not the WHOLE ENCHALADA) replacement for the natural pheromone or could ever replace a healthy queen.

For the God believers, honeybees are miracle creatures made by a glorious God. I can't imagine God would create such a find creature, pack it with all the necessary ingredients to be the prolific insect that it is but leave out a conscious - again remove the pheromone and see what happens to that hive, couldn't the true pheromone be the conscious of the hive? I've seen queen-less hives and they are all but brain-dead zombies with no purpose or goals - spiritually they are void. I'm not just making stuff up as I go along, I believe that.

For the Non-God Believers, these are creatures with no conscious thought, just hopping around doing what they do to survive - still anal-retentive, but for no particular reason EXCEPT that it worked, so Darwinian theory MUST be right - the Retentive ones live and the lackadaisical ones are extinct.

I say GIVE YOUR BEES A BIT MORE CREDIT than to say they are just slaves to my bidding, and you will create a better environment for the bees to flourish in. I admit that some people have GREEN THUMBS in this hobby and no matter what they do, their hives will prosper and harvest abundantly. While someone with all the best intentions fail miserably at growing and seasoning hives - what is the difference, could it be chemical - prove that it isn't.

I'll end with a thought - I believe all living things (including the EARTH which I believe is a living organism made of all element from the periodic table) all these creatures, from us to the smallest of plants and even bacteria are part of a SINGLE LIFE FORCE - it is all energy in motion, one atom circling or moving within free space of all other atoms - microscopically their is no edge to a coffee table, it is just a different bunch of atoms with the same space between them.

Think of a jar full of marbles and no matter how different the marbles are, the space between them is made of basically the same stuff as the marbles - in a NANO-WORLD, one where string theory and multiple universe exist, all things are one - they are only shaped different when you zoom out far enough to distinguish a human from a honeybee. But get close enough in and stuff is stuff is stuff.

I believe that honeybees MAY be able to distinguish their beekeeper from a yard full of other beekeepers, why is THAT so difficult a concept for some people to "at least" ponder. Humans are way too rightious and self-centered in a Universe where they are so small and insignificant, don't you think???

____________

A thought added later... When I was a boy, I had a younger brother who was severely handicapped. I remember often watching him in his wheelchair in our backyard and bumblebees would hover around him and literally watch my brother for many many minutes. It was fascinating to watch as they would maneuver from position to position to get different views of this man/machine which meant no harm to them.

To this day, I wonder what they were thinking - do they think? Some spiritually minded people would think of them as little guardian angels hovering around (it is amazing how still they can remain while in flight) and other people might say they had nothing going on in their heads - I'm more in lines with thinking that the bumblebees had some thought or conscious process going on - I know we all give human traits to our cats and dogs, each has a personality - why is it so hard to think other creatures can also have such traits???
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« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2006, 11:52:08 AM »

There a difference between recognition, and knowledge. I believe all animals recognize and have a resulting biological reponse when appropriate. As for some "emotional" respionse, I don't think bees would. I am sure they recognize my smell, have no negative history and respond accordingly. When anything in environment changes, all prior history goes out window and all bets are off.
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« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2006, 12:33:30 PM »

In order for a bee to recognize you it must have a fairly well developed brain with a large cerebral cortex.  The cortex is the front part of the brain that allows thought, unlike the lower portion of the brain and brainstem that controls the basic functions.  Bees have a pretty primitive brain, I doubt that there is much thought processing going on other than survival.  Most insects have survival/instinct processing only.

I think that we as beekeepers show less fear and do less movements that either signal or stir up bees to the point where they are concerned about hive survival/attack.  That is the reason they are calmer around us than the general public.

Show fear, secrete chemicals through your skin or in your breath that signal concern/fear/anxiety and bees will get stirred up.  Bees have a much better developed sense of their surroundings that are important for survival than we do.  Our ability to detect chemical or magnetic clues in the environment are extremely limited, not so with insects.
Just my thoughts.
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« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2006, 04:39:48 PM »

I have not noticed any clever ideas in bees. If they were clever, they should wait me behind the hive corner that they could give to me 2 547 stings to my arse..

In spring they try to drop their poo on me and it is awfull smell. It they were clever, they all  1 million bees  will sit on me and paint me with yellow feces.

If you have not enough imagination, read the animal revolution, where pigs are more equal than other animals or Lassie comes home again.
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« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2006, 04:09:41 PM »

Man, you guys are a hoot. I suspect the gentleman from Finland is correct but I had an experience today that did at least hint at cleverness: I had walked back across a pasture to my house after a routine inspection - no aggressiveness at all at the hives, everything normal - and when I got in and pulled off my veil, I discovered to my dismay that 4 or 5 bees had hitched a ride on my back. They immediately became angry and I was stung 3 times in rapid succession.
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« Reply #24 on: May 19, 2006, 04:50:43 PM »

Here's a story about "Do your bee's know you?"
I use to check my bees every 2 weeks on a set schedule.  My older brother wanted to learn the bees so I began taking him to the hives with me.  I could go into the hives in my bathing suit and they wouldn't bother me.  But at first they buzzed him even in his bee suit while they left me alone without any protective gear.  Over time the bees began leaving him alone too.
Then one day, trying to make a point to another beekeeper, he went into an unfamiliar hive.  I told him not to do it as the bees in question didn't know him.  He went in anyway and he got stung so bad he became alergic.
Animals (dogs & cats) tell us apart more from our individual scent than how we dress or what we look like.  It is the difference in scent between people that Blood hounds focus on when searching for a lost person.  Bees work on scent also, it is how they distinguish robber bees from hive mates.  
It's not a large leap to reason that smell is as go, if not better, distinguisher than eye sight.  If a creature can smell it can differenciate.
My bees know me, and unless I disguise my odor with another odor they dislike (see my earlier post) they leave me be.
How you handle your bees is also a determiner as to whether the bees see you as a friend or foe.
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« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2006, 04:53:25 PM »

I think that it is a romantic notion to think that your bees could come to "know" you.  I think that, at best they could come to recognize your scent, but with the short lifespan of a bee and the sometimes extended period between inspections, whatever bees saw you last time you opened the hive are probably either dead or out foraging...

And even if they do get to know you, it isn't in a good way.  You go in and tear up their home, move their frames away, take the children away, and take their crop away.  If bees truly came to know you, I think they would follow you and wait for you to take your protective clothing off and then jump you.

I don't think bees know you any better than the spider in the garage or the wasps by the garbage can do.  I think that you notice a difference in the bees reaction towards you because as you grow more experienced and more comfortable you probably act different in such a subtle way that you may not even notice, but the bees pick up on it and your presence is no longer such a threat.  Perhaps when you were new you made quicker movements, didn't watch your breathing or were harsh with frames.  Perhaps with experience you have become more careful and delicate without really realizing.
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« Reply #26 on: May 19, 2006, 08:50:06 PM »

This has been (and still is) an interesting and whimsical topic - life should have more ponderous topics and less thoughts of dread and despair.

I'll state the following and HOPE that no one here will disagree with AT LEAST THIS COMMENT: whether or not they know YOU, they DO recognise fear, anxiety, incompetence and all these can INSURE a more troublesome hive inspection. Can't we all agree on those?

If SCENT is the main component we all seem to agree on (whether it is sweaty people trigger alerting action in bees) to (we all produce a chemical alert that animals sense - and likely bees do too) so if smell is a component to reaction in a hive, any hive can react differently that if the beekeeper were less fearful, more confident, better prepared, less invasive, etc. I hope we can agree on those - at lease SOME of those.

I agree that the life-span of the workerbee is unfair - arguably the hardest worker in the animal (compared to vegetable or mineral - lol) then surely 5 to 6 weeks is a sadly short life-span. I'd love to see a worker in her golden days kick-back and have a maitai which laying in a mini lounge chair on the flight-deck of the hive - mini umbrellas and sun-glasses. I see a market shocked okay... I see a tee-shirt - lol.

So, we take advantage of what time mother nature gives them, work them to death and what I find remarkable, we make conditions right for a life time of work, but they do it with or without our intervention.

Even if they are creatures with no recognizable traits (when it comes to recognition of any kind) and everything they do is instinctual - we should STILL give them EVERY BIT OF RESPECT THEY DESERVE.
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« Reply #27 on: May 19, 2006, 08:50:18 PM »

This has been (and still is) an interesting and whimsical topic - life should have more ponderous topics and less thoughts of dread and despair.

I'll state the following and HOPE that no one here will disagree with AT LEAST THIS COMMENT: whether or not they know YOU, they DO recognise fear, anxiety, incompetence and all these can INSURE a more troublesome hive inspection. Can't we all agree on those?

If SCENT is the main component we all seem to agree on (whether it is sweaty people trigger alerting action in bees) to (we all produce a chemical alert that animals sense - and likely bees do too) so if smell is a component to reaction in a hive, any hive can react differently that if the beekeeper were less fearful, more confident, better prepared, less invasive, etc. I hope we can agree on those - at lease SOME of those.

I agree that the life-span of the workerbee is unfair - arguably the hardest worker in the animal kingdom (compared to vegetable or mineral - lol) then surely 5 to 6 weeks is a sadly short life-span. I'd love to see a worker in her golden days kick-back and have a maitai while laying in a mini lounge chair on the flight-deck of the hive - mini umbrellas and sun-glasses. I see a market shocked okay... I see a tee-shirt - lol.

So, we take advantage of what time mother nature gives them, work them to death and what I find remarkable, we make conditions right for a life time of work, but they do it with or without our intervention.

Even if they are creatures with no recognizable traits (when it comes to recognition of any kind) and everything they do is instinctual - we should STILL give them EVERY BIT OF RESPECT THEY DESERVE.
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« Reply #28 on: May 19, 2006, 10:30:53 PM »

I agree with everything in your post beemaster....

The hard part about this discussion is even accepting what it is for your bees to know you.  While assigning a human trait to an insect, you have to reclarify what exactly that human trait means.

Does it mean that the bee recognizes the scent?  Is generally aware of and tolerates your presence?  Can differentiate you from someone else by appearance?  Comes over for tea?  Sneaks in and steals your remote?

I think one thing of interest is that if you are smoking your bees they probably aren't going to get a good reading on what you smell like...
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« Reply #29 on: May 20, 2006, 12:27:15 AM »

I haven't mentioned this in a while - so it is a good time to reflect. I guess it is barely on topic, but I'll finish anyways.

I'm a tee-shirt and shorts kinda beekeeper. I like sunny days, light wind, happy bees, well setup inspection areas and a smoker if I have a restless hive.

I do use a smoker when needed and don't when I feel it is not. I try to keep the hive parts loose enough to pry apart easily and I have a place for everything to be placed before I lift a super from the hive.

I have a secton on the Tai-chi of beekeeping, it is designed to teach beekeepers (small 1 to 5 hive setups) how to manage the hives with little or no fuss and minimal protection to get between you and the bees.

If you are prepared and appear to know what you are doing - to the bees (I BELIEVE) you appear to be just another bee doing duties differt then them.

I uess in this case, it isn't me wanting them to know it's me - it is more like I don't want them to know ANYONE is there at all!!! Good question. Check my Beekeeping Course http://www.beemaster.com/honeybee/beehome.htm for the tai-chi section. Somewhere there is a link to 4 pages of exercises and inspection setups - I need to unbury the links and get them up front, it is some very interesting reading material.
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« Reply #30 on: May 20, 2006, 01:12:05 AM »

I only have two hives, and this is my first year, but I do not use smoke.  I did the first few times and then because of time constaints I didn't use smoke on an inspection and I noticed -NO- difference...  As long as I don't breathe on my beens my buckfasts don't care.  If I do breathe on em 5-10 will make a bee line for my face.  Yay for the net on my head.  I just go slow and try to make my presence as uninvasive as possible.

My other hive seems a little less docile, but as long as I move slowly and try not to bash anything few to no bees land on me.  Although they are italian workers and they make an annoying habit of flying around...  I can't wait till the carniolans start hatching...
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« Reply #31 on: May 20, 2006, 05:27:13 AM »

I have nursed bees 45 years and I have noticed any hints how and WHY bees should know me.
HOW BEES SHOW THEIR KNOWINGS?
I could say that when my 3 sons were babies, bees did not sting them even they were in same home yard.  
DO BEES LOVE BABIES?

Once my wife kept on arms our 1 moth old baby. Bee attached to her hair, wife dropped the baby to ground and run indoors to shelter. Baby cryed in ground but bees did not killed him.  -- Bees knew the baby, but my wife either has done nothing bad to bees.  It were 500 000 bees in our yard and only one attached. Did the bee knew my wife or knew not when it stung?

You may make what ever legends but bee are to me stupid bugs.

Now I have 1 million bees on my cottage yard. One or two attach on me per day. DID THEY KNEW ME OR NOT.

DID  THE REST 999 998 KNEW ME OR NOT WHEN THEY DID NOT ATTACHED ON ME?
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« Reply #32 on: May 20, 2006, 08:40:19 AM »

FINSKY:

You'd take the BUZZ out of a BEE!
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« Reply #33 on: May 20, 2006, 11:03:42 AM »

I believe that experience and skill, allow a person to work bees with a minimum of stings.  Calm bees are tolerant of intrusions into the hive where the disturbance is minimal.  But a hive full of calm, gentle bees, can become a blitzkrieg in a nanosecond when something goes wrong.  I moved a half dozen hives last week, and the bottom board broke loose on one of them as I handtrucked it off the trlr (three deep monster)  Already in a foul mood from the trlr ride, they exploded out and were on me like ugly on an ape.  This hive along with 5 others has been 20 feet from my back door for months and worked frequently.  Did they calm down when they realized, smelled, remembered, or used ratio senatia to determine it was me?  Heck no!!  They wanted to kill me.  Then to top it off, the nosey horses in the pasture decided they wanted to have a closer look.  They leaned over the fence, for some nice white painted wood to chew on.  With some coaxing by the bees, they quickly realized that this was not the place to be.  I've given them a few days to calm down, so I'll go out there today and see if they remember me.  I sure hope not!
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« Reply #34 on: May 20, 2006, 11:48:37 AM »

Quote from: beemaster
FINSKY:

You'd take the BUZZ out of a BEE!


Really, at least I try:P
.
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« Reply #35 on: May 20, 2006, 01:07:54 PM »

Golf:

That was soooo similar to my NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE (thank God I was doing 30-40 stings a day in apitherapy for about 3 months at that point and carried a sting kit ) but while carrying a brood box with lid and bottom board, the box shifted out of square and fell to pieces, hundreds of pieces and the hive was on me like white on rice.

I may vary in the number of stings I recall, but it was nearly 200 stingers I scratched off - I literally had a pile of them when I was done - ugh. I remember the effects of anaphylaxis coming on (all the usual symptoms) and I searched madly for my sting kit which somehow ended up in my trunk instead of the glove box - my hives were on a friends property, so I kept the sting kit in the car, when and how it made it to the truck - who knows.

I remember well the friend/owner of the property who was a true hippy, a likable guy and sadly dead at 49 years of age. He stood there, watching as the bees engulfed me, not really understanding the seriousness of the situation - he was in hysterics watching me slapping at every inch of my body and I'll never forget his famous words "Want me to knock you out with a 2X4?" which at the time sounded pretty good - lol.

I sat up against a tree in the shade, near my car and away from the shattered hive super - it took awhile to get up and around, I honestly felt buzzed (no humor intended) anyone doing bee-sting therapy will tell you that the pain is tolerable, but the after feeling of swelling and warmth is like a heating pad under your skin doing its magic. On this occasion, I felt warm to hot all over, as if in a pool of venom.

So, those bees are long gone, but to get back on topic - I STILL KNOW and REMEMBER THEM!

NOTE: for those who followed my other mishaps - this WAS NOT the same incident that a worker crawled up my boxer shorts  rolleyes  You'll need to SEARCH the index for THAT story. But here is a story that I know MOST of you will enjoy - I call it THE NIGHTMARE ON THE TOMS RIVER - enjoy.

http://www.beemaster.com/travel/canoe.html
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« Reply #36 on: May 20, 2006, 04:29:55 PM »

Quote from: Finsky
Now I have 1 million bees on my cottage yard. One or two attach on me per day. DID THEY KNEW ME OR NOT.

DID THE REST 999 998 KNEW ME OR NOT WHEN THEY DID NOT ATTACHED ON ME?


That looks like more than two that is on you according to your photo/avatar.  Cheesy
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« Reply #37 on: May 20, 2006, 04:43:10 PM »

Back in the day, when I bought a new brood box, the bottom boards were always attached.  The old equipment I culled from my uncles place also had attached bottom boards.  I don't know if it was because they were migratory based outfits, or if it was the norm, but I never gave it a second thought.  

For this move, I stapled the bottom and supers together, and screened the entrances.  I felt everything was secure.  I didn't take as many stings as you describe, but I don't think 60-70 would be exagerating.

I went out and added supers today.  One hive was very defensive, although it was not the one that fell apart.
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« Reply #38 on: May 22, 2006, 09:53:24 AM »

So Finsky, what I want to know is how you convinced all of these bees who don't know you to pretend to be a beard for your picture?

BTW, have you seen this?

http://www.normangary.com/

Linda T
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« Reply #39 on: May 22, 2006, 11:36:37 PM »

Quote from: Finsky

Once my wife kept on arms our 1 moth old baby. Bee attached to her hair, wife dropped the baby to ground and run indoors to shelter. Baby cryed in ground but bees did not killed him.  -- [/b]


hehe, if little momma dropped my baby to save her carcass from a bee sting, I would re-queen MY hive.
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« Reply #40 on: May 23, 2006, 05:41:55 AM »

Quote from: FordGuy

hehe, if little momma dropped my baby to save her carcass from a bee sting, I would re-queen MY hive.


Sh*.*  happens even  in better families  shocked   You mean re-queen my family?
.
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downunder
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« Reply #41 on: May 23, 2006, 06:35:28 PM »

I think it's fantastic that people can make themselves feel warm and fuzzy with this romantic debate.

However I fail to see how anyone could think a bee would recognise them, days or even weeks later. A colony doesn't even recognise it's own queen 48hrs after being removed. Try it if you don't beleive me. Remove your queen for 48hrs and then dump her straight back in (no-cage, no-escorts). Now if your theory is right you would think they would treat their own queen better than even us. They do not and often tear them apart.

Why? Because they have lost the chemical pheromone scent they once had and now don't recognise the queen. We all use this great technique to requeen colonies.  

Anyway as long as it makes you feel good I'm happy with that. I agree with everyone on the point of demeaner when working hives to be the most important factor.
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« Reply #42 on: May 27, 2006, 10:55:18 AM »

Finskey,

Just a friendly word here old boy - beware of the perils of american chat forums.
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« Reply #43 on: May 27, 2006, 12:39:16 PM »

i HAVE BEEN kinda staying out of this one becauseI dont believe bee's can know a persons face, but when I read the post  I quoted below I lose it, now that was funny  cheesy  cheesy  wink




Quote from: Finsky
I have not noticed any clever ideas in bees. If they were clever, they should wait me behind the hive corner that they could give to me 2 547 stings to my arse..

In spring they try to drop their poo on me and it is awfull smell. It they were clever, they all  1 million bees  will sit on me and paint me with yellow feces.

If you have not enough imagination, read the animal revolution, where pigs are more equal than other animals or Lassie comes home again.
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