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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    chicago
    Posts
    3

    Default live bees for filming?

    hello,

    i am a chicago filmmaker looking to shoot an upcoming project that will involve covering myself and one other non-allergic actor's face/upper torso in live bees (candyman-style!!). i literally know absolutely nothing about this except that it's got to happen, so could any one offer some advice or point me in a general direction as i pursue this? i've read that while shooting candyman they used specially bred bees that were made to look fully mature even though they were only about 12 hours old in reality, so their stingers were not that serious yet. is this the common approach to this kind of project? is this approach as expensive as it sounds? as i am paying for this out of pocket i'd prefer to spend the least amount of money as possible! also, im not trying to kill a swarm of bees or set them loose in the streets of chicago, so i imagine i'd have to do this sort of thing on-site at a beekeeping facility? any comments or advice are welcome!!

    thanks
    bethany

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,674

    Default Re: live bees for filming?

    Come on down, I let my girls lick sugar off anybody!... as for not full mature moot point, they still sting..... the key is there feeding and not defending... BUT you squeeze or pinch one you get zipped....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Wausau, WI, USA
    Posts
    221

    Default Re: live bees for filming?

    A bee beard is usually started by hanging a caged queen under the persons chin. There is a very real danger here and this should only be attenpted by someone with experience.

    Wisnewbee

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    chicago
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: live bees for filming?

    thank you for your response! whoever ends up helping with this project will have experience, as I am not about to attempt it by myself, cause I have absolutely none! we will be very careful, tho i am no stranger to taking some serious risks to get the best shot... by any means necessary!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,821

    Default Re: live bees for filming?

    I think I remember reading about moving a couple hives during the day for a few days so the more aggressive foragers etc. get lost and you are only left with young nurse bees.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,505

    Default Re: live bees for filming?

    IF you find a knowledgeable beekeeper this is not a terribly dangerous stunt. Now if someone wigs out and starts trying to swat bees and crushes some in their armpits, it could get painful ugly in a hurry. No one is going to die, it takes hundreds of stings. An ancient article in an American bee journal said it would take 1500 stings to kill a 160 pound healthy man. Unloading semi's the old fashioned way, a hive at a time, I bet I got half that many every day when I was stupid enough to do such things.

    If you are adults prepared to take a half dozen stings without going into a full blown linear panic, this is not difficult. It is tiring because you have to get the bees in position by gently pouring them on. The bees stay there because of the presence of a queen and when you take the queen away, it takes time for the bees to decide to crawl off or gently be brushed off. This all takes time. I have never heard of a bee beard being facilitated by coating someone with syrup or honey! That sounds like a recipe for a disaster to me, but it might work just fine. I would not do it that way because it would take a long time to get free of bees. Do you know you need to plug your ears and nostrils with cottom balls or someone is going to crawl in. A bee stuck by sweat or wax in your ear canal is a real treat! Been there and you do not want to experience it.

    I bet that there are an even fifty You Tube bee beard shorts. I would watch every single one of them before I went any further.

    I would do a test run by having a hundred nurse bees shaken off a brood frame on your chest as you lay on the ground. That way you could test your tolerance to the crawling which takes getting used to even by the initiated. You do indeed need to do this with nurse bees. You need to move the colony when the field bees are actively foraging so they get lost and drift into another colony. Then you do it again to get more of the older more defensive bees out of the picture. All this is going to seriously disrupt the colony and I would expect to reimburse the beekeeper for the damage to the colony and yes it does damage the colony. Since the bees the colony loses will go to his other hives, I would not think the bee damage would be worth more than $50.00 at the most and his time is another matter. Some beekeepers would pay to watch rookies take a bee bath! Good Luck.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    chicago
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: live bees for filming?

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    Come on down, I let my girls lick sugar off anybody!... as for not full mature moot point, they still sting..... the key is there feeding and not defending... BUT you squeeze or pinch one you get zipped....
    gmcharlie, that would be amazing!! would it be possible for us to speak directly?? my email address is bschmi20(at)gmail.com

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