Date: Wed, 4 Sep 1996
From: Andy Nachbaur
Organization: WILD BEE’S BBS (209) 826-8107 LOS BANOS, CA
Subject: Re: Fascinating Facts about bees
> Gee…..I thought this list was about sharing information and
> helping each other…..not shooting holes in other people’s
Hi xxx, I don’t think Allen or anyone else was trying to put you down. There is one thing we all learn in time about e-mail and that is to read it if you can without any passion, as there is really no way to tell if the poster is trying to be an horse’s rear or it’s just his style of using the king’s English. And always remember one man can not make a fool of another, it’s up to each of us to do that job for ourselves.
You may have know the correct details of all the bee facts you posted, but many of us have seen later or different detail and would want to correct the record. We all do it, as we experience the real world of beekeeping, its a human condition. No one was yanking on your chain, and you should not feel defensive when someone expresses a different opinion.
Almost 50 years ago when I knew it all, my first science project was to rear a couple of queens, hatch them in the science lab and put them together under a glass to watch them fight it out as every book on the subject to this day say’s is the Bee Scientific LAW.
Everything went according to the best written knowledge, the day came for them to hatch, they came into the light of day happy, healthy virgin queens with me the proud foster parent.
The WHOLE WORLD had gathered to watch the duel to the death.
I removed the two prized virgin queens from the nursery cages and placed them under the glass and stood back in a hushed room full of amazed classmates, friends, and teachers to watch the bloody royal battle……..!!!
I got a A-, but for sure these two queens were my first experience with gay bees or gay’s of any kind as all they wanted to do is make love and never made any attempt to harm each other and nothing I then could do changed that.
Well since then I have learned a lot of the tricks of the trade and now know how to age the queens and even cheat a little and bring in a ringer from a different bank with a different hive oder or a different age queen, or if all else fails to add a little sting hormone to the mix.
So if asked I would say that when a hive has more then one queen they normally will fight it out and one will be left to rule. But even this is not true today in the field and it is not uncommon to find hives with two or more queens and yes I have seen hives with two queens laying good patterns of brood on separate sides of the same frame. I have also learned the difference between bee science (BS) and real science, and I
would not bet my life on bee science as most of the stated rules, published facts, and even real works of scientific composition are more the journalist’s art then science. If it was the same in medicine, chemistry, or engineering we would have all died long ago from some plague, chemical, or in the office or store so many work in when the first puff of wind blew the building down on our heads. Must beekeeping science is based on opinion that more times then not does not turn out to be the truth, if not all the bees in the US would bee dead or in the
attack mode killing tens of thousands as they move across natural barriers that even man can’t cross. But then bees can fly 35 miles per hours and on one fill up have no problem making 15 miles on a few hundredths of an once of fuel, or can they or do they?
BTW Queens do sting, they have a stinger without barbs so they can sock it too you repeated times and it hurts on tender tissue such as the inside of the mouth. QUEENS SHOULD NEVER BE CARRIED INSIDE THE MOUTH! And especially eight of ten young mated queens at a time, as they do sting and it hurts and it’s hard to spit out those $5 bills and risk harming them or having them fly back to the nucs and having to catch them next go around. I won’t bore all again with the details of how I came to do such unsophisticated bee tests, but it was not for science, had more to do with the fun of being a commercial beekeeper in a commercial beekeeping community, a hot late spring afternoon and helping an old friend catch queens. Maybe those queens beekeepers find once in awhile with what looks like bites taken out of them are from other old bee breeders who carry their extra queens around in their mouths? But for sure queen bees normally do not sting people, and even many bee breeders have never been stung by a queen bee, but they can sting. Same as the so called stingless bees such as the leaf cutters..but that’s another story, the “killer leaf cutter bees” that I will save for another time.
ttul OLd Drone
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