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Author Topic: Beard of Bees  (Read 2344 times)
The Bee Man
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« on: March 13, 2007, 08:03:40 AM »

Many of us have seen a person wear a beard of bees.  But I do not know exactly, precisely, step-by-step, how to achieve one.  I have some idea, but before I place all of those ladies on my face, I would like to have instructions from those of you who know exactly how to make this happen safely.

So... do you know how to wear a beard of bees?  Please tell me/us.

I will get my packages in April.  I am thinking that would be a good time to do it, straight from the package, when they are well sprayed with sugar water.  But I could have it all wrong.

Help please!
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Billy The Beekeeper
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2007, 09:00:18 AM »

Here is the best way!!!!!! DONT DO IT AT ALL!!!!!!! lol its not a good idea m8. Its little dangerous to do but hey if u wanna try go ahead,but i think u gotta put queen on ur chin or kill her to get pharemons on u but i dont know ive never done it so yea its just what i heard. Smiley                afro        Goodluck
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Experienced BeeKeeper Cheesy
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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2007, 09:10:31 AM »

but i think u gotta put queen on ur chin or kill her to get pharemons on u but i dont know ive never done it so yea its just what i heard. Smiley 

No killing involved,  just put her in a cage and hang it around your neck or on chin.   Or better yet put it on top of your head for a bee afro afro
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« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2007, 09:22:51 AM »

Bee beards are not for beginners. It done incorrectly it can get you killed. The technique is not that difficult but the details make a huge difference. Basically you have a queen from a hive in a queen cage and hang the queen cage like a necklace. All the bees will follow the queen. Here is the problem. If you twitch or move the wrong way you have thousands of bees who will express their unhappiness by stinging you.

Also openings need to be protected. Bees crawling up your nose and in your ear is very distracting if not out right scary. Button down shirts should be covered with a coverall or tshirt as bees will crawl through the openings and end up on your chest and back.

Then there is one other factor. Weight, they don't weigh much maybe a few pounds, but after a while that can be straining. Try holding your arm out with a 3 lb weight straight out for a while. If you are not use to it it becomes a burden.

You will need to have an assistant. If something needs to happen you will need someone to help you. Also when it comes time to remove the bees trying to do that by yourself can be difficult.

You should move the queen carefully back to the hive. Bees will follow shortly there after. You may need to brush off the few that remain. I have also seen where they will bounce the bees off but I haven't tried that.

Be prepared to get stung. And if you do don't react. That will increase the danger. When Allen Struthers did his he received four stings over the time he wore it. The first thing I recommend is get use to being stung and build up a tolerance to bee venom. Also you need to get use to handling bees.

Doing a bee beard is a neat trick but that is all it is.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2007, 01:24:24 PM »

Yeah I've seen people do it. I've seen Finsky's picture of him with bees. But what is the point in doing it? Does it accomplish anything to the betterment of mankind or the bees? Sort of a useless cause like base jumping don't you think?  rolleyes
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Ruben
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« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2007, 01:39:20 PM »

I would like to try it one day ( a long time from now ) When I got into beekeeping everybody said "are you nuts?" and I have to say when being a newbie the fear factor was a lot of the fun of it. With time the fear wears off and playing with bees becomes like second nature. When I reach that point I will probably do the beard.

BeeMan if you do it take pictures I'd like to see it. Maybe video it and put it on YouTube!
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BEE C
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« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2007, 02:11:20 PM »

Bee beards can be great for educating kids about bees.  I don't recommend doing it without the help of an experienced beekeeper or right out of the packages...my instructor does a bee festival and the bee beard is what draws the most crowds and news media.  It doesn't hurt the bees.  I would recommend waiting and having experienced help. Or yes it could hurt you...
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The Bee Man
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« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2007, 07:16:34 PM »

Right.  Thanks for the opinions and responses.  Brendhan came the closest to actually giving me instructions.  This is what I surmise to be the way to do it, but I want to know from those who have done it or seen it done:

Get a queen in a queen cage, and rig a string or something to loop around my ears to wear the bee cage under my chin.

Prior to starting, stuff my nostrils and ears with something (plugs, cottom, what have you...)

Spread a little bit of insecticide around my eyes (or wear goggles though that would ruin the picture)

Have tight fitting clothing beneath coveralls or some such.

Take the (and this is where I get a bit confused) package (?) of bees, and shake them onto my chest, or more precisely, onto a piece of cardboard held there by an assistant.

Let the bees make their beard.  Assistant assists in brushing them into shape as possible.

Bee beard should be, more or less, done.

To get them off, I heard to jump up and let them fall off.  Remove queen cage and leave in nuc box in front of pile of bees.  Have assistant brush them off.

Drink a shot of whisky (optional).

This is what I have figured out on my own- and I need ideas/ suggestions/ guidance on all of the above, especially about the bees.  For example, should I start with a package, or should I shake bees from a hive, or... what?

Jerrymac and others who ask what the point of doing this stunt is: well, this question can be asked about a lot of things in life.  I think it would be interesting, fun, and attract positive attention about the honeybees.  There are a lot of people, as we all know well, who are afriad of bees.  Having a beard of bees on my face is a good way to show a lot of people (through photographs afterwards) that bees are gentle loving creatures that also make for good beards.  Or something like that.  You all get the point!  We are here because we love bees.  Sometimes we do silly things for love.

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ktbearpaws
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« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2007, 09:40:33 PM »

Hey Yall, watch this!!!   grin  grin lol
i don't fancy the idea myself....
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nepenthes
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« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2007, 09:44:39 PM »

DON'T USE INSECTICIDE!! (Insecticides kill insects, find a replant that wont kill them, I would test it first.) that will kill your bee's! i suggest vasoline... something that doesn't let the bee's have a grip.
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The Bee Man
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« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2007, 09:50:02 PM »

Good point about insecticide, but would just a bit on my fingertip, to circle the eyes, harm them, or just keep them away from my eyes?

I could use Vaseline, though, as it seems les harmful for me and for the bees.
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indypartridge
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« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2007, 07:26:51 AM »

As was stated above, this should only be done by an experienced beekeeper.

One of my mentors has done a number of bee beards. Here's pictures:
http://www.bluffwoodcreek.com/beebeard/

No, you don't want to use a package, because those bees aren't yet linked to a queen.  A nuc would work.

You definitely need an assistent (or two). Again, it needs to be an experienced beekeeper (in the pictures, see the guy in the bee suit?). Note he uses a bee-vac to help remove the bees. He also had what was essentially a portable screened-in porch he used when getting the bees on/off to help keep them contained.

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2007, 07:54:55 PM »

Here's a picture of Jay Smith with one:
http://www.bushfarms.com/images/BQPg99ba.jpg
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The Bee Man
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« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2007, 07:59:19 PM »

I like seeing the pictures.  I have found many myself.  What I am still looking for/ hoping to read here are very clear instructions on how to do it.  It seems a great many people have done it/ do it, but I am still at a loss to find out exactly how it is done.  My biggest obstacle/ question is how the bees should be prepared beforehand.

Indy, thanks for your link.  I e-mailed Rob and we have played a little phone tag today.  Maybe he will be able to fill in some of the gaps.
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Robo
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« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2007, 09:54:07 PM »

If you going to use the package,  I would suggest sitting back in a reclining lawn chair and set the open package on your chest just below your chin.

This method works well when taking bees out of a hive.  Shake them into the cardboard case from canned soda.  Then sit back in the chair and let the bees move from the box to your chin on their own.  Relaxing in the chair makes the wait easier on you and less chance of pissing of the bees and getting stung.

[disclaimer]
As stated by others, this is for experienced beekeepers, and if you are not,  I would not advise do it
[/disclaimer]
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