No Veil Demos are Bad for Recruiting. - Page 4
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  1. #61
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    34,541

    Default Re: No Veil Demos are Bad for Recruiting.

    Let's stick to beekeeping. I have demonstrated the handling of bees in a number of situations. One being in front of an Elementery School group at their School which had a bee tree on the edge of the Parking Lot. a swarm had lit on a conifer of some sort in the School Yard. A friend of mine, in our Colonial garb, being employees of nearby Colonial Williamsburg, went to the school and collected the swarm into a modern conventional beehive. The Teachers wanted us to show the children what the queen looked like and to tell them about the bees.

    None of them were wearing protective clothing and neither were we. Of course people are fearful of bees. Some of that is a healthy fear. Much of it is imprinted.

    Now, I don't think anyone uncomfortable doing so should do what I have done, but telling people that they have to do demonstrations one way or another? I don't go along w/ that either.

    I think beekeeping demonstrations w/out protective gear shows people what can be done w/ bees and that getting stung is nothing to FEAR. Besides, what's a sting or two? I demonstrate getting stung too. I also talk to the audience about the defensive nature of bees and how to be around them in a safe and calm manner.
    Mark Berninghausen

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  3. #62
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    13,203

    Default Re: No Veil Demos are Bad for Recruiting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joes_bees View Post
    Your first live impression of water skiing is a guy being pulled 55+ miles per hour behind a boat on his bare feet.
    So what is the problem?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  4. #63
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Killington,VT
    Posts
    143

    Default Re: No Veil Demos are Bad for Recruiting.

    Interesting discussion. I've been teaching beekeeping to middle school students, and I start out cautiously with an empty hive and all the internals without bees. After a taste of some honey from a comb, they are ready to visit a living hive. We review the precautions needed (some students have allergic reactions to stings) and take precautions accordingly, including suits and epi-pens at the ready . I use hives with generally gentle bees, smoke, and, if a hive appears feisty, we close it and visit another time.
    To keep this short, I've been to many seminars where the hives are opened without veils, and I've worked with professionals who work with smoke only and have seen only a few stings on these occasions.

    I have to say that when my class joins me at the hive and we open it with smoke alone, and pull frames of working bees and inspect them close up, there is an experience gained that transcends explanation. I could talk about how bees can be gentle for a long time without impact; experiencing it first hand, says it all.

    I'm not reckless. So far I've taken over 100 students into hives, and the only one stung has been me, when I squeezed a bee between the box and my arm - an opportunity to teach.

    As an aside, when I'm in a hurry, or have some important event where a sting on the face would be problematic, I suit up.
    Zone 4a-b

  5. #64
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    St Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    2,274

    Default Re: No Veil Demos are Bad for Recruiting.

    Quote Originally Posted by pbuhler View Post
    ...We review the precautions needed (some students have allergic reactions to stings) and take precautions accordingly, including suits and epi-pens at the ready ....
    To me, there is a world of difference in how an inspection without a veil is framed. If it is framed with a review of precautions, and "suits and epi-pens at the ready", that's a whole different ballgame.

    The bottom line for me is teaching a level of respect to beginners. It shouldn't be fear, but an educated level of respect for the bees, for their wild nature, and for their ability to cause a person real harm if they are not properly respected.

    Adam

  6. #65
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,354

    Default Re: No Veil Demos are Bad for Recruiting.

    You have to remember, these are creatures that can kill a horse when riled up. Even domestic varieties are not totally tame. Sort of like those people who keep pet wolf hybrids.

  7. #66
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    4,953

    Default Re: No Veil Demos are Bad for Recruiting.

    We manage bees in two very urban locations...one rather private (the 5th floor roof of the Intercontinental Hotel in Boston), one rather public (in the Fenway Victory Garden...half way between home plate of Fenway park and Boston Symphony Hall....7 acres and 500 plots of community gardening in the only Victory Garden still in constant operation). The group that runs the garden has given us the plot specifically as a teaching apiary.

    We do "open hives" (like an artist open studios) on most Sundays after our Sunday market at the Fenway hives....6 hives in one yard, and 4 in another. I tell people who show up that they are outside and might get stung by an insect anyways, but their chances of being stung if they are around an open hive is much, much higher....if they don't wish to get stung, they should not be there. If my audience isn't wearing protective gear, I feel that I should be handling them as if I'm not wearing gear...so I don't wear gear. I always light a smoker, and I always use it. If a hive seems moody, I put it right back together. This yard is also less than a mile from several of the best hospitals in Boston.

    If you are going to keep bees, you are going to get stung. I don't see the point of highlighting this as a negative, or pretending that if you are careful you won't get stung. Beekeeping is a lot more enjoyable when a few stings can be tolerated....you will handle the bees better if you really don't want them to fly up in your face when you are pulling a frame....if you don't believe me I'll give you a test and prove it to you

    But, our primary responsibility with these hives is to make sure they don't swarm (knowing that any swarm in the area may be pinned on us because our bees are visible)....we don't manage them as intensely as we might for maximum honey production....when in doubt, we split these hives, and they tend to be no more than 2-4 deeps.

    At our conference, most people don't wear veils (many don't wear shoes). One year, Mike Palmer was the only one to get stung (he was steadying himself for a photo and leaned his hand on an upper entrance with bees bearding). I think it's most important for people to learn that in the vast majority of cases, the damage is infinitesimal when compared to anything else that would produce that much pain. This is one of the most interesting aspect of beekeeping (or beekeepers)....a certain kind of person with a certain kind of fear simply wouldn't willingly open a box of bees (I know, I used to be this kind of person).

    I don't take this lightly....Peter Sitzman was a childhood friend (I have a recording of his solo with the chorus). He died from a bee sting at 38 (he was highly allergic).
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...54C0A9619C8B63
    I've attended talks where supposedly reputable beekeepers have claimed that deadly allergies are never from honeybees, but always from wasps and hornets....it's infuriating.

    When writing a book for beginner beekeepers, we knew we were writing for EVERYONE. The only sane thing we could say as a blanket recommendation is before taking up beekeeping, get an allergy test. I've never had an allergy test for bee stings, and most beekeepers I know have not.

    We always tell new beekeepers (and observers) to wear as much protective equipment as makes them feel safe. We always have protective equipment on hand...that (and a smoker) is what makes me feel safe. A veil won't prevent others from being stung...a smoker many, many times will. We used to bring mosquito nets...but no one ever used them, so we stopped bringing them.

    All this said, I know the temperament of our bees. We got a bunch of bees from Don Fatbeeman in 2009, have culled these heavily, mixed with the local feral and commercial populations as well as a few other additions since. Don's bees have the best temperament in the industry...we were there making up our nucs in the rain, in the dark....Ramona was wearing flip flops.

    So far, we have been able to retain this kind of temperament. Last time we were inspecting the hives at the hotel, the executive chef asked why we weren't getting stung...we explained that we had requeened their existing hives with our own stock (via virgins) over the last 2 months, and they now had different bees with a different temperament....he was thrilled at not getting stung...he noticed it on his own.

    I think when you are doing a demo, you should demonstrate what you actually do. I'd sooner open a hive in front of someone without a veil than drive them somewhere in my car....wearing a seatbelt.

    There is a lot about most beekeeping demonstrations that I don't think gives the attendees an accurate picture of "beekeeping" (treatments and feeding specially)....but working workable bees without gloves or a veil hardly seems more risky than eating in a restaurant....certainly safer than driving a tractor.

    deknow

  8. #67
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    4,953

    Default Re: No Veil Demos are Bad for Recruiting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    If it is framed with a review of precautions, and "suits and epi-pens at the ready", that's a whole different ballgame.
    At least in the U.S. you need a prescription to buy an epi-pen. If you are not requiring your attendees obtain an epi-pen ahead of time, are you carrying a prescription (injectable) emergency medicine with the intent to use it on someone it isn't prescribed for?

    If you think you need an epi-pen (evidence of allergies, working in a remote location) than by all means get one....but I think someone coming to a bee hive opening should be bringing their own prescription and over the counter medication if they think they need it. In an emergency? I'd administer an epi-pen if it was available and seemed appropriate...but I don't carry one in case someone else needs it.

    deknow

  9. #68
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    4,953

    Default Re: No Veil Demos are Bad for Recruiting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul McCarty View Post
    You have to remember, these are creatures that can kill a horse when riled up. Even domestic varieties are not totally tame. Sort of like those people who keep pet wolf hybrids.
    How do you feel around people? Are people "safe animals to be around"?

    deknow

  10. #69
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,354

    Default Re: No Veil Demos are Bad for Recruiting.

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    How do you feel around people? Are people "safe animals to be around"?

    deknow
    People are most definitely NOT in many cases.

    I have no experience with your bees. I deal mostly in these cranky desert bees. I am sure yours are very nice.

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