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  1. #1
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    Feb 2003
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    Newbie here -- any help appreciated.

    I am an assistant doing research about beekeeping for a teleivision show. My boss has stumped me with an assignment, and I could use any help whatsoever from pros like you.

    Basically, the scenario I need to research, a swarm of bees infiltrate an underground facility, through the air system, and a team has to go in to collect them.

    What would the team wear? What would they use to hold the bees, and what tools would they use to collect them? What reason could be given for the bees not stinging anyone? (Are they all drones? No queen present?)

    Again, any help is GREATLY appreciated...I've spent hours surfing the web for beekeeping resources, and they all seem geared for the experts, like you. I will check back here for replies...emails to jnardino@hotmail.com are also immensely appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
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    crown point, NY, USA
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    Post

    Hi,

    What would the team wear?

    reply:

    Beekeepers suit. Veil, gloves, coveralls, ect. Some wouldn't wear anything other than a veil for protection.

    What would they use to hold the bees, and what tools would they use to collect them?

    reply:

    Oh. There are lots of ways. One could use a bee vac, card board box, pail w/ air holes, burlap bag, grain sack. Any container that allows bees to breathe. For tools would depend on if there are combs or not. If yes, bee brush, knife, frames and methods to attach combs to place in a hive.

    What reason could be given for the bees not stinging anyone? (Are they all drones? No queen present?)

    reply:

    They are docile. Many swarms are docile. Bees tempermant changes from day to day. Rainy over caste days they can be a bit agressive. The weather has an effect right down to whether or not the person harvesting is wearing purfume or cologne. Could be something as simple as the movement made by an individual. As for all drones- its very unlikely, almost never. And queenlessness really wouldn't stop them from stinging it they were so inclined.

    regards,

    Clay


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    Exclamation

    > Some wouldn't wear anything other than a veil for protection.

    and what part of the body do these naked beekeepers protect with the veil? I'd want at least 2 veils!

    -Barry

  4. #4
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Post

    I have a video "Free Bees for You" from Brushy mountain where these four men (probably all in their 60s to 80s) are calmly taking down a bee tree, cutting it apart and hiving it without so much as a veil.

    Having done the same thing myself (without nearly the experience) with a complete beesuit and still got stung several times, I would never do it, but a really experienced beekeeper hiving a swarm, which is very docile, would likely not wear any protective clothing.

    I probably would wear some protection even to hive a swarm, because bees sometimes surprise you.

    Why would the swarm be going so far underground? They are more likely to nest 8 feet off the ground or more. But you never know with bees.

  5. #5
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    Dec 2000
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    crown point, NY, USA
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    Post

    and what part of the body do these naked beekeepers protect with the veil? I'd want at least 2 veils!

    reply:

    Now Barry you know I didn't mean naked. I would be a brave person indeed to do that. Makes me sweat thinking about being stung on certain part of the anatomy.........I just hate being stung on the knee caps :> )

    Clay

  6. #6
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    Feb 2003
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    Los Angeles, CA
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    Post

    Thanks for the wonderful feedback! Basicaly, the premise is very TV...bees are sent thru ventilation to an underground military complex, to scare the guards there. Beekeeping types are called in to collect them. That's it. The guards have to be afraid they'll be stung, and the beekeepers have to know that they aren't gonna sting.

    It also has to play, well, as kinda slick.

    Any more details/insight are very much appreciated...I have to admit, the research I've done so far has made me very interested in bees!

  7. #7
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    Aug 2002
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    I'm a beekeeper, and I know I was impressed by these old guys felling a bee tree and tearing the established hive out of the tree and putting it in a hive without any protective equipment whatsoever. I think a non-beekeeper would be even more impressed.

    If I was trying for entertainment value, while trying to be realistic, I'd go for one old experience beekeeper armed with nothing but a lit cigar for smoke and a nearby handy cardboard box (maybe the kind you get copy paper in with a lid that fits on it) taking out the swarm.

    The contrast of the panic of ignorant people with the calm of the beekeeper would be entertaining.

    But that's just me.

  8. #8
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    Feb 2003
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    Post

    Hmm, they want real equipment to be used...professional equipment, like people the government would use to help them. Plus, it has to be a team of 4-5 people who go in.

    This bee-vac thing is interesting...could someone use that to collect a swarm, pretty effectively? What are they like? Any links to machines?

  9. #9
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >Hmm, they want real equipment to be used...professional equipment, like people the government would use to help them. Plus, it has to be a team of 4-5 people who go in.

    Hiving a swarm is definitely only a one person job. But if the government was doing it I'm sure it would take 4 people to supervise.

    >This bee-vac thing is interesting...could someone use that to collect a swarm, pretty effectively? What are they like? Any links to machines?

    No beekeeper would use the bee vac to hive a swarm. They'd just shake it or brush it into a box and walk off with it. The reason is the bees are very calm and easy going when they are swarming and there is no need for the vacumn. The problem with the vacumn is that it kills a lot of bees, and in the case of a swarm, it would be unnecessary.

    It's nice for rehiving like the guys with the bee tree, mentioned above, but actually those guys used nothing but a chainsaw and ax (to get the tree down and apart) a knife to cut the combs, some string to tie them in and one hive box to put the bees in. They didn't need a vacumn nor did they need a veil. Rehiving like that usually makes the bees as angry as they ever get because they are not a calm group of homeless bees swarming, they are at home and trying to defend their nest and their honey.

    Most of us less experienced beekeepers (I've only been doing this about 30 years so far) would need a veil and a beesuit and would find the bee vac usefull in that kind of situation (removing bees from an established hive). Because with the vac there would be less bees in the air trying to sting us.



    [This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited February 14, 2003).]

  10. #10
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    Actually, the fact that it only requires one person to collect a swarm is helpful.

    So, just to be clear...these guys who are going to collect these bees...what are they going to collect them into? What would be a good portable device? And they would just "brush" them into the box? How do you get a big swarm of bees into this collection device?

    This is all very helpful, thanks again.

  11. #11
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    Aug 2002
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    Actually we keep talking about swarms. To us beekeepers "swarm" has a very distinct meaning and it would not make a useful weapon other than fear.

    What you are talking about is using bees as a weapon and then someone collecting them and removing them. You seem to prefer some high tech things involved so let's try a realistic high tech senario.

    Let's say the assault consists of a lot of bees (not a swarm) and the use of sythesized alarm pheromes http://www.chemsoc.org/exemplarchem/...dex-page5.html to make them really angry and somhow sending them into the building. (the Romans acutally did this using beehives launched from catapaults which are more effective because the bees are defending their home) http://nanaimo.ark.com/~cberube/war&bees.htm

    The havoc of angry bees stinging people seems obvious, but you can keep in mind that honey bees leave stingers and die after stinging and release more alarm pheromes.

    Now the high tech bee people come in with Nassonoff pherome and Queen Madibular Pherome and calm the bees instantly and gather them to the pherome lure in a box and the bees march right in. (this could acutally be done with real bees if you want to save on special effects).

    Is that more the senario you had in mind?

  12. #12
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    Aug 2002
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    Also since the bees are artificially angered you have a good reason for a protective bee suit. http://www.mannlakeltd.com/catalog/index.html

    You could also point out that bees are not usually agressive like that and the pherome was responsible. Actually the alarm mechanism is the only real difference between regular honey bees and Africanized "Killer" bees as far as attacking people.

    Please don't give bees a worse rap than they already have.

    I'd still be more impressed with the one old beekeeper coming in with his cigar and no protective equipment.

  13. #13
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    Feb 2003
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    Wow man, that sounds slick. That is much more in line with what I am researching... Except that, the people who send in the bees don't actually want anyone hurt, they just want them to panic.

    What device specifically would they collect them into? Be more obvious than you think you need to be...remember, newbie here, hehehe. This "box"...is it a plastic box? A wooden box? How big is it? Does it go on wheels? Got a link to a pic? Thanks again,

  14. #14
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    I suppose if they don't want to actually hurt anyone, then the swarm is a better bet than angry bees.

    Normally beekeepers use what's handy. A five gallon bucket, a paper box, an empty hive body (19 7/8" x 16 1/4") I can't think of any reason for anything high tech for a container, but it doesn't really matter if it looks high tech. A common one is a plastic nuc box that folds flat. http://www.mannlakeltd.com/catalog/index.html

    Here are a couple of swarm catching rigs: http://www.beeworks.com/uspage4.asp (see swarm catcher bag) http://www.beeequipment.com/search.asp (put in product code 270 and go. product 472 is a Bee Vac)


  15. #15
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    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    Smile

    > What reason could be given for the bees not stinging anyone?

    Because they are still frozen?
    http://www.beesource.com/pov/weapon.htm

    I'd love to see this story played out on TV!

    -Barry

  16. #16
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    Sep 2002
    Location
    Elizabeth, CO,
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    This is Hollywood!! They want to get the bees out to use the base, not start a colony. Send a team of 4 guys in with full beekeeping suits (for effect)and portable bee vacs on their backs. If they have a budget make the packs look like the ones the guys in Ghost Busters used. They could use small plexiglass containers so you could see the bees being collected. A team of 4 guys with bee vacs could clear a swarm nice and quick.

  17. #17
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    The last response sounds like the one the writer will like the best...thanks.

  18. #18
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    Mar 2001
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    Jameson, MO USA
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    Post

    Hi All
    The part about collecting the swarm is, to me, the least daunting of this scenario. The part I am most interested is in the beginning: How does anyone "send" bees anywhere? Just how is this intruderdude going to convince any swarm of bees, angry or docile or anywhere in-between, that they need to go where he "sends" them. Sure love to see HIS wiggle-dance!


    ------------------
    gnubee

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Elizabeth, CO,
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    20

    Cool

    Again this is Hollywood. With good editing this shouldn't be to hard.

    First scene, release a package of bees into an outside air vent.

    Second scene, show bees flying through air ducts, you could probably do this with queen pheromone.

    Third scene, show bees coming out of air vent inside facility.

    Fourth scene, show guards in room or hallway with bees flying everywhere.

    Fifth scene, guards run out of building.

    So with several short "doable" scenes put together it looks like the bees were "told" to get the guards.

    For even more flash on the bee recovery add a fifth "bee buster" to the team in my previous post. This point man could have a "bee detector" (something that looks like a gieger (sp?) counter) and also a bee buster backpack but his backpack is a smoker. When they find the swarm the point man could smoke the swarm (not really necessary but would look cool) then the other 4 guys with the bee vacs could suck them up.

    I know if they filmed something like this everybody on this borad would know it was corny and unrealistic but 99% of the general public would buy it!!

    Hey, maybe they will let me write the scene!!

  20. #20
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    >Hey, maybe they will let me write the scene!!

    Maybe you just did.

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