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  1. #1

    Default Be careful out there

    I was out working bees yesterday. The way it goes…I test ‘em for mites, pull surplus supers, apply mite treatment, then, once I've finished, I’ll weedeat the yard. As I was going back through one yard with the weedeater, from beneath one of the hives I’d just worked slithered a two foot copperhead. Seems the smoke and activity didn’t roust him but the weedeater did.
    Be careful out there.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,029

    Default Re: Be careful out there

    Youch when you were working the hive your foot must have been right next to it.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  3. #3

    Default Re: Be careful out there

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Youch when you were working the hive your foot must have been right next to it.
    No doubt about it OT. I could've eaten him with the weedeater...but, instead, gave him the same courtesy he gave me.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Bolton, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    277

    Default Re: Be careful out there

    Scarry

    I met a guy once that was missing the end of his thumb, just below his finger nail.
    I asked him what happened, he told be it was a Copper Head.
    I'm guessing the venom did some series damage too the thumb skin tissue?

    Glen
    You Tube bee Channel Zone 5A
    http://www.youtube.com/user/GlenGH

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,414

    Default Re: Be careful out there

    > instead, gave him the same courtesy he gave me.

    And in return, Mr Copperhead may eat some mice that might otherwise (at least attempt to) invade your hives.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,665

    Default Re: Be careful out there

    A few years ago i thought i had a blackberry vine hung on my pant leg? i kept trying to shake it off while working a hive. Finally i looked down and seen a copperhead (a little over a foot long) hung on my pant lege If i hadn't had high top rubber boots on under my pant leges he would have got me. I now look under the hives when i'm working bees in that beeyard in the Big Sac river area, and any hives on concrete blocks i have.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,240

    Default Re: Be careful out there

    Interesting subject!
    Lived on this farm 35 or so years (so far ) and have never seen a copperhead and last week saw this sweety

    Taking the picture with iPhone and looked down and there's another two feet away !
    No need for my cardiovascular exercise that day
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Be careful out there

    Yeah, I guess as I'm out west I see a bit more rattlesnakes than copperheads. I have had to kill a few in my yards over the past couple years. Rattlers and five little brothers don't go together.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Be careful out there

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    And in return, Mr Copperhead may eat some mice that might otherwise (at least attempt to) invade your hives.
    I usually leave them alone...unless they are in my immediate yard. If they're bold enough to come to my porch....adios!
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  10. #10

    Default Re: Be careful out there

    Quote Originally Posted by mike haney View Post
    No need for my cardiovascular exercise that day
    Adrenaline has its place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen H View Post
    I met a guy once that was missing the end of his thumb, just below his finger nail.
    I have a friend who was one of those guys who catches them and tosses them somewhere out in the woods where they wouldn’t be a bother. He finally got bitten on the arm. Lost the use of that arm for the better part of a year. He just chops off their heads now.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,665

    Default Re: Be careful out there

    We don't see as many Copperheads as we use to up around the river? i'm thinking the wild turkey (and we have alot of them) are eating the young and the feral hogs are eating the adults.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morro Bay, California, USA
    Posts
    915

    Default Re: Be careful out there

    I get western rattlers under my hives all the time. I used to reach under to move the board closing the screen bottom. After having fingers (in a nice leather bee glove) meet rattler for the second time, I don't reach under anymore.


    In fact, I'm moving back to solid bottoms except for the experimental hives. And the rattler experience was factored into that decision.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,940

    Default Re: Be careful out there

    I'm a live and let live type person these days. Snakes just doing what a snake does, I hold no fault with it. Just gotta learn to be careful out there and check your working spaces carefully. That being said I typically run like a girl from any snakes, even if I know they're not venomous.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Be careful out there

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    I'm a live and let live type person these days.
    I tend to be as well.....except, as I said earlier, in my home yard. I have grandchildren who play here from time to time...and any venomous snake that is bold enough to come around is on his way to snake heaven, if I have anything to say about it.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,240

    Default Re: Be careful out there

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    I tend to be as well.....except, as I said earlier, in my home yard. I have grandchildren who play here from time to time...and any venomous snake that is bold enough to come around is on his way to snake heaven, if I have anything to say about it.
    X2!
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  16. #16

    Default Re: Be careful out there

    I'm always surprised that here in the NE where we have almost no remaining copperheads or timber rattlers (you have to climb a mountain in general to find one) how many people still have a revulsion for vipers and bees. They are convinced that snakes, spiders, (honey)bees are just waiting to "attack" them. That's why I am glad to show as many folks as care to see how mellow bees are and that I can pull frames in a t-shirt and shorts (w/smoke), without event. Same goes for vipers; I've stepped over copperheads, and I think on one. They only strike when you're working them with a hook or tongs, or otherwise molesting them (they would see reaching under a hive where they are seeking anonymity as an intrusion/threat). Both groups have been doing their thing for millions of years and have no incentive to expend venom - it costs a worker bee its life, and costs a viper another chipmunk meal to replace the protein in its venom. I wish the public could get a little more of a grasp - then we wouldn't be reading so many posts about neighbor's fears (and every hymenopteran in their yard being a winged devil from your hive with hopes of attacking them!). Maybe a little bit of a tangent, but I like bees and snakes, and like to know the landscape is still suitable for both, at least in places.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Be careful out there

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeButler View Post
    They only strike when you're working them with a hook or tongs, or otherwise molesting them
    You believe what you choose. My father was bitten by a rattler....without warning...he'd neither seen nor molested until it struck.
    Sorry...I'll fall to the side of caution where children are concerned.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morro Bay, California, USA
    Posts
    915

    Default Re: Be careful out there

    Get a snake stick and learn to use it. --Practice on Gopher Snakes (if you live in range). If you can handle a gopher snake, you can handle a rattler. Then you can move the snakes away -- stick to 5 gal bucket is a good system.. Rattlers are semi-territorial, and moving a snake to edge of your snake free area is often enough to block another from moving in. Otherwise you just open up a niche for the next individual to move into the mice and chipmunk rich tended landscape.


    Most vipers nest colonially for the winter (often in crawl spaces or barn foundations). I don't want folks to kill the winter nest, but knowing where it is gives you knowledge of the spring and fall movement through the yard. Often snakes are around very briefly as they disperse to summer range. You can seal winter nests successfully and force the congregation area to move to a better spot.

    I kept rattlers in cages in the windows when I lived in the SW Barrio in Albuquerque. Best security system ever --- the junkies would walk around the block to avoid crossing in front of the house.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Scott, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    149

    Default Re: Be careful out there

    I have found one cotton mouth hanging around my hives (live on a lake in Central Ar), but I usally can smell them when they are around, seem to have a strong musty smell. I have stepped on one when it was cool out an it was moving slow, but I was not after seeing it. The one thing that I worry about is brown recluse spiders under my hive covers, they can leave a nasty bite that take a long time to heal.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Be careful out there

    I saw the property owner this afternoon at the farmers market. I told him about the copperhead. He told me that one of his horses had been bitten. The skin around the wounds was dying. The UGA vet school has been sending classes out to his place to see the animal and the severity of the reaction to the bite. He told me that they believe they have it under control now….but now he’s concerned about his bill.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

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