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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    22

    Sad

    Well I failed to get the feral hive out of the two tires. I was able to approach the hive within a foot or two to remove brush and they never even paid me any attention so I figured they were not AHB. Especially after I had to remove a piece of barbwire from their hive, which mad the hive shake a little.

    It was when I made two cuts into the comb when everything turned bad. A couple of things I figured out real quick. The suit I wore only protected me if it was already covering other cloths. So my fore arms received stings. Hover these wore more of a nuisance. As you move, the cloth quickly took the stinger out of me. It felt like those tiny splinters you get in your sock that keep poking you just annoying but not hurting. I was stung once through the yellow dish gloves I was wearing which hurt but again the stinger was pulled out quickly as I move around. However with the stings I received from the below description I have to admit made me start to get a little panicky and caused me to abort the whole project.

    Where I got into trouble was my veil. It failed in two places. The first was that it kept touching me under the chin where I took at least 10 stings and could not remove the stingers for over 20 minutes. The second failure I got very lucky on. The brush tore a hole in the top of my veil without me know it. Luckily only a few bees made it in past the brim of my hat and focused on the black veil instead of my face. My throat right under my chin stayed sore for several days.

    I ended up trying to get the bees to leave me alone for at least 20 minutes before I could get out of the suit. Even then one was still around and tagged me just to the left of my upper lip. It hurt but was able to remove stinger quickly and had no swelling there.

    My goal is to save up for a better suit, wear leather gloves and go after the hive agin.

    Some pictures of me starting to go after the hive

    http://users3.ev1.net/~beachwalker/image011.jpg
    http://users3.ev1.net/~beachwalker/image012.jpg
    http://users3.ev1.net/~beachwalker/image013.jpg
    http://users3.ev1.net/~beachwalker/image014.jpg


    [This message has been edited by Feral Bee (edited March 23, 2004).]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Germantown, Ohio
    Posts
    43

    Post

    I see you smoking, but I don't see much smoke?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    Yep, that's why I bought a Golden Bee suit.
    http://www.beesource.com/ubb/Forum12/HTML/000046.html

    Well worth the money.

    You just never know how rilled up the girls are gonna get when you start destroying their home.

    "When me and my brother Bobby bar-b-que, we like a big roaring fire!" Give that smoker a workout.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,509

    Post

    I'm sure you've already figured out some of this but:

    First you need a bee proof suit and bee proof gloves. I wouldn't be using dish gloves for a removal. Sure they are ok for a simple inspection of a nice calm hive.

    Tape the ankles with Duct tape or use rubber bands. They will crawl up your pant legs. Your gloves need to have gautlets and elastic so the bees don't crawl up those. The veil need to be a zip on or they will crawl under it. When 60,000 bees are all trying to get into your clothes, they will find any hole as big as a bee.

    Second you need to get that smoker rolling smoke. Buy some burlap, cut it in strips about four inches wide and about two feet long. Get it burning well before you close the smoker. Better yet get a red hot coal (charcol etc.) and put it in first so the fire never goes out. Then add the burlap. You can buy little coals made for doing incence. They are expensive but work really well. Or you can use a piece of matchlight charcoal and give it time to get glowing well.

    Third. Smoke them really heavily. If you can still see them through the smoke, you didn't smoke them enough. You aren't trying to smoke lightly like you would a hive you're about to inspect. You are about to destroy their home.

    Fourth. Wait. They need time to eat some honey so they will be easier to handle. Wait at least a minute or two.

    Fifth. Smoke them some more

    Sixth. Smoke the comb you want to cut heavily to drive the bees OFF of it. Start cutting up comb and tying them in the frames. Don't be too rough, but there is no point trying to be too gentle or smooth once they are all already trying to kill you. Speed is probably more important than finesse. If you are really good at finesse you might manage it without getting them that mad, but once you have gotten them really mad, you may as well focus more on speed than finesse.

    Seventh. If the bees are getting into the suit, or managing to sting you trhough it, you need to retreat and regroup. Let the bees calm down. Let yourself calm down. Then try it again.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,656

    Post

    1. if the bees are that mean, why mess with them ? buy a package of calm bees

    2. have a bee vac on hand to get the bees containerized as quick as possible

    3. The Timothy McVeigh Method....buy some Ammonium nitrate fertilizer. Get your smoker going good. Drop a teaspoon of ammonium nitrate fertilizer into the smoker. Puff a few times... a hugh plume of smoke will issue from the smoker, smoke the bees, do not breath too much of the smoke...the bees will fall unconcious to the ground... vacuum them up and do your work. ...the bees will slowly revive and crawl into your completed hive.....I requeened about 50 very vicious hives with this method in the mid seventies....worked like a charm.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,373

    Post

    <<1. if the bees are that mean, why mess with them ?>>

    He's a newbee,(I think), cutting apart a feral hive. If they didn't get riled, I'd be amazed.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,509

    Post

    While I've seen video footage (free bees for you from Brushy Mt) of oldtimers taking down a bee tree and cutting out the comb without so much as a viel, I've never taken a feral hive apart without getting them riled eventually.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    22

    Post

    From responses and talking I made two large mistakes. First is that I didn't smoke anywhere and I mean anywhere near enough. Also, I was told I did it at the wrong time of day. It was early morning still cool and a little damp so vast majority of the bees were still at the hive.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,509

    Post

    Yea, I'd do it when the bees are active. Busy bees are happy bees. Mid morning to mid afternoon is good. Early morning, late afternoon or night are not good.

  10. #10
    jfischer Guest

    Post


    Let's give credit where credit is due.
    He had a difficult site, and the bees
    were able to tag him with stings (and
    thereby, alarm pheromone) within the
    first few minutes of his attempt.

    I award you a Sliver Star, with Clover
    Clusters for bravery!

    That said, go learn how to lay down enough
    smoke to hide an Abrams M1A1 tank, and get
    yourself a decent veil, like everyone says,
    and you WILL get that colony in a box.

    There simply is no such thing as "too much
    smoke" when you are trying to deconstruct
    an entrenched wild colony without a bee-vac.

    I'd also nuke out more of the tangled branches if I were you. I'd suggest a
    pair of rose clippers, a large "bolt-cutter"
    style branch cutter, and a bowsaw for
    these types of situations. Chainsaws and
    bees just don't mix on so many different
    levels and for so many reasons, all of them
    ending with one being nick-named "Lefty" or "Stumpy".

    Another approach would be a spray bottle
    of water. Get 'em wet, and they don't
    fly so well. They WILL still crawl, so
    watch those pant legs. I still don't
    own a real bee suit, and I have been
    stung over the years in some highly
    sensitive places by crawling bees.

    Brian Sheriff makes all my veils.
    Love 'em. You get what you pay for,
    and he is a very entertaining character.

    jim


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,509

    Post

    >Let's give credit where credit is due.
    He had a difficult site, and the bees
    were able to tag him with stings (and
    thereby, alarm pheromone) within the
    first few minutes of his attempt.
    I award you a Sliver Star, with Clover
    Clusters for bravery!

    I certainly agree. It takes a lot of courage to take on a bee colony any day. Especially if you've never done it before.

    I don't think any of use intends to criticize. I think we are all just offering advice on how to do better.

    >He had a difficult site

    But I would have to say the site looked ideal to me. These bees are almost in the open. No tree to cut into, no building to tear apart. I'd love to find more feral hives like that. But your first try is always difficult. I can still remember the adrenaline rush of that. I'm sure the bees could smell it on me too.

    My first bee tree the landowner's family all came out and sat in lawn chairs to watch me. I was pretty entertaining when several bees managed to get in my veil. I suppose they either crawled through the gap in the front where the veil zipped on or around where the veil goes on the pith helmet. But at any rate they were inside and stinging me and I'm sure I invented a few new dance steps.

    When you have several thousand bees trying to get in your clothes some of them will succeed eventually, but of course, the tighter you close things up the longer it will take.

    Don't you love it when you're in that position (thousands of bees trying to get you) and some sweat runs down your back or your leg and you can't tell if it's sweat or a bee moving across you? You get better at telling the difference with practice.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    22

    Smile

    I haven't taken any offense. I just keep reading and taking in the information. Though it looked like an ideal plae, the poison ivy that I had to cut away isn't exactly what I call a great place to be. I think it was one of the branches I cut away that tore the hole in my veil. I have every intention of going after them again except better informed and better protected. One thing I did learn is that their sting is not as painful as I thought it would be. I will admit I did panic a little when they got me through the glove at that time i looked down and pulled the veil right up to my chin where a few waiting bees took their oppertunity to sting me.

    If the veil would not have kept touching me under the chin (thats how they got me there) I probably would have tried to finish the project.

    So next time
    1. better suit and veil
    2. better time of day
    3. a whole lot more smoke (proably my biggest mistake)

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