Driving with bees
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lilburn, GA, USA
    Posts
    785

    Question Driving with bees

    Hey, everyone,

    I'm going to be picking up a package of bees on Saturday morning, and was seeking advice about driving with bees!

    Looks like rain, so simply having the box in the truck bed probably not a good idea.

    You know, dealing with the loose bee(s) in the car cabin.

    Regards,
    Thomas
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Somerset, NJ
    Posts
    482

    Default Re: Driving with bees

    Strap the box tightly and staple some #8 hardware cloth over the entrances. If it's a regular package container it should be OK sitting next to you on the floor or passenger seat. Oh and bring a bee suit or veil just in case.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Hartford Ohio
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: Driving with bees

    cover them in a bag like they put delicate clothes in a washer, keep the cab cool. How far do you have to go?

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Niagara Co., NY, USA
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: Driving with bees

    Why would there be loose bees?

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    2,732

    Default Re: Driving with bees

    The bees are no problem. The poop really sucks.
    It is hard to design a safety net that some will not use as a hammock.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    2,732

    Default Re: Driving with bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Schultz View Post
    Why would there be loose bees?
    there always seem to be magic bees
    It is hard to design a safety net that some will not use as a hammock.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,972

    Default Re: Driving with bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Schultz View Post
    Why would there be loose bees?
    There are always loose bees. The mesh laundry bag works well if bees flying around in the cab of your truck bother you. You can get one at Wal-Mart for about $3.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Palos Verdes, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,277

    Default Re: Driving with bees

    I've never had a bee escape from a package. I've had a loose bee follow me (and the package) and attempt to get into the car with me, but I shooed her out before I closed the door.

    And it was dark when I got home, so I kept the package on my night stand, to lull me to sleep.
    Painted Peacock Manor, Palos Verdes, CA

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Palos Verdes, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Driving with bees

    I have had loose bees in the car with me after a swarm capture. This happens to me quite often. But they tend to hang out by the window, and they've never, ever bothered me while I was driving.
    Painted Peacock Manor, Palos Verdes, CA

  11. #10
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Park County, Montana, USA
    Posts
    505

    Default Re: Driving with bees

    Quote Originally Posted by IAmTheWaterbug View Post
    I have had loose bees in the car with me after a swarm capture. This happens to me quite often. But they tend to hang out by the window, and they've never, ever bothered me while I was driving.
    Yep, I've driven 3 hours with a leaky nuc next to me in my truck, they just stick to the glass trying to get out.

    Lee
    5 Production colonies, 1 side by side 5 frame nuc for support- 7 working queens is all I want.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lilburn, GA, USA
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    785

    Default Re: Driving with bees

    Every package I've ever got, there has been "stragglers" hanging out on the outside of the box.
    Even after you think you got them off, last time there was definitely one in the cabin with me last year.

    Quote Originally Posted by Schultz View Post
    Why would there be loose bees?
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    1,247

    Default Re: Driving with bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Yunzow View Post
    Every package I've ever got, there has been "stragglers" hanging out on the outside of the box.
    Even after you think you got them off, last time there was definitely one in the cabin with me last year.
    Same here. I once drove with quite a few of them flying around in the car. I opened the windows a bit because it was fairly cold and they preferred to hang out on the packages with the other bees. I never put them in the car again. I put them in a cardboard box that was firmly secured in the back of the pickup from that point on. It has been years since then but I remember it well.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    791

    Default Re: Driving with bees

    I have used the mesh laundry bag method when I was transporting nucs and it worked well to keep the 3-5 loos bees with the nuc

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Fargo, North Dakota
    Posts
    291

    Default Re: Driving with bees

    As noted by several posters, straggler bees tend to go to the windows, and are not a concern to the driver. More important is that the bees are cool, and secure. Make sure continuous ventilation can occur. Make sure the package box will not tip on its side in the event of traffic stops/events.

  16. #15
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    Jun 2014
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    Palos Verdes, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Driving with bees

    Painted Peacock Manor, Palos Verdes, CA

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Northwestern Minnesota, USA
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    7

    Default Re: Driving with bees

    I drive 2-hours from my package pick-up and I just set the bees on the floor of the back seating area. No problems.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Ozark, AL
    Posts
    834

    Default Re: Driving with bees

    BLUE LIGHTS and NUCS

    My friend Pate, my Dad, and I are all beekeepers. Our bees are housed in traditional Langstroth hives.* These are the boxy kind of hives you most often see and are efficient for raising bees and collecting honey. Another type of hive is the old, dome-shaped beehive that lent its name to the beehive state and the beehive hairdo. Likely you have seen pictures of these though they are no longer used in America due to government health regulations. Bees will build a hive in any convenient place. In addition to holes in trees,*swarms have been found living in old drums, attics, farm equipment, mail boxes, and even old tires. The Bible even speaks of getting honey out of rocks (Deut. 32:13; Psalm 81:16), probably meaning that the bees had made hives in the cracks of rocks in the desert.*The Bible also tells us of what may be one of the strangest of all places where a hive was found.

    Judges 14 tells several stories about Samson. Samson had a habit of falling for the wrong women. One of these stories was about the time he had decided he wanted to marry a certain Philistine woman. As he was going to make the arrangements Samson was attacked by a lion, bad news for the lion! Samson killed it with his bare hands.* Later he returned to take the woman for his bride and stopped to see the carcass of the lion: and, “behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcass of the lion. And he took thereof in his hands, and went on eating, and came to his father and mother, and he gave them, and they did eat: but he told not them that he had taken the honey out of the carcass of the lion.” (Judges 14:8-9)

    Nucs, or*nucleus colonies, are small honey bee colonies created from larger colonies. The term refers both to the smaller size box and the colony of*honeybees within it. The name is derived from the fact that a nuc hive is centered on a*queen, the nucleus of the honey bee colony. The nucleus box, also called a nuc, is a smaller version of a normal*beehive, designed to hold fewer frames. The nuc box is smaller because it is intended to contain a smaller number of*honeybees, and the smaller space makes it easier for the*bees to control the temperature and humidity of the colony, which is vital for brood rearing. When using a Langstroth hive, a nuc is created by pulling two to five*frames*from an existing colony. These frames and the nurse*bees*clinging to them form the basis for the nuc colony.

    This past Friday was spent visiting and “working” with my friend and bee mentor, Pate, we had strived to control some of his well established hives from swarming by dividing, splitting, combining, adding queens to hives and manipulating frames in several hives. During the day we discussed how I might split some of my hives this early (the end of February) without having queens to place in the new hives. There was really no good solution as it is just too early in the year to expect the hives to raise a new queen.

    I had resigned my self to not being able to separate or split any hives due to not being able to get any new queen bees short of buying and having them shipped from Hawaii where queens can be raised all year. Well I had forgotten that I was with a master beekeeper, a successful businessman, father, grandfather and retired Lieutenant Colonel who has spent his life finding solutions and solving problems. As we were winding down, cleaning, and replacing tools and equipment, Pate suggested that I take a small 3 frame nuc which he had raised and nursed through the winter and use that queen and her daughters to split one of my hives and combine them with frames of bees from one of my “mother hives.” I was hesitant to take this gift as I knew the time and effort required to raise and develop a queen into a thriving miniature hive, even a small nuc box of three full frames of bees.

    Well after the third time I had refused to accepted the nuc and the forth time Pate had offered, I reluctantly accepted the box of bees. We taped the entrance closed and strapped the top shut. Though there were several bees loose and clinging to the outside of the box we decided that the best way to transport the bees to my apiary was to just place the nuc on the passenger seat in the cab of my truck. This was really not dangerous to me as the worker bees outside the box were really only concerned with being united with their mother queen and sisters in the nuc box. Keep that thought in mind as I finish this story.

    You may be familiar with the writing on your passenger side mirror; “Objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear.” Well if you are in a hurry to get back to Ozark so that you can combine your hives and are traveling 60MPH on Highway 36 in the city limits where the posted speed is 45MPH, then after you round a curve and pass a small road blocked by rows of planted pines then the mirror should read; “Officers in the mirror may be closer than they appear.”

    Being the, other than this one time speeding, law abiding citizen that I am and realizing my old Ford truck could not out run the supped up DARE vehicle or it’s radio, I immediately started pulling over as soon as the officer activated his blue lights. After I had stopped, more than a dozen of the bees gathered on the inside of my back window, whether they were still hunting a way to return to their home in Newville, or were attracted to the beautiful blue lights flashing I had no way of knowing. As the young officer approached my truck he motioned and requested that I roll down my window.

    WAIT, I had a thought and remembered teasing my wife after she had received a ticket years ago when returning from visiting my folks in Atlanta with our, then, two small children. I had told her while the officer was approaching her car she should have reached in to the backseat and pinched one or both of the children as there was no way the highway patrolman would have been cold hearted enough to write a young mother with two crying children in the car a ticket.

    By now the policeman had reached my truck and was standing next to my door and requested that I roll down my window and provide him my license. I loudly and with a bit of acting told him I would be glad to comply but I was fearful that with all the bees loose in the cab of my truck that he might be stung! “Stung, he replied, what do you mean?” I motioned and he noticed that several bees had gathered on my back window and on the passenger window which was rolled halfway down to keep the bees cool.


    I advised him I could comply with his request to lower my window, or step out and meet him at the rear of my truck, or he could move to the passenger side where the window was open and I would give him my license and insurance information but I was transporting a box full of VERY mad, hostile, impatient honey bees. This might have been a wee bit of an exaggeration! I quickly explained to the officer that as long as the truck was moving and wind circulating through the vehicle that the bees were relatively calm and docile but once the truck stop it was a another story.

    What I failed to mention was though it was another story it is not a different story. Either way most of the time the bees are as passive as a long eared basset hound with his head hanging out the window, ears flapping in the wind, drool and slobber running down the side of the truck they, the bees, are totally unassuming and offer no danger to the driver. Most of the time they just settle on the inside of the window content to watch the scenery change. Fortuitous for me a couple of the bees had moved to the driver’s side window and were peering manically at the patrolman. Again I offered to lower my window or exit the truck but suggested he move back because the bees between us were agitated and had worked themselves into such a frenzied and excited state that I did not know how they would react once I opened the door. Was this an untruth maybe, maybe not, as I am not a bee whisper or able to read a bee’s mind.

    By now Officer, name omitted to protect his dignity, had lost his poise and thankfully for me decided that decorum was better than valor and with as stern a manner as possible in the situation, instructed me to continue on my way safely and at a much lower rate of speed. I thanked him and promptly departed with as much solemnity and respectability as I could muster. Once again realizing that while honeybees are necessary to pollinating many of our crops and flowers, and providing us with sweet honey, they could also get you out of a sticky situation from time to time – honey, bees, sticky - pun intended.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lilburn, GA, USA
    Posts
    785

    Default Re: Driving with bees

    cute story
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Rib Lake WI
    Posts
    1,737

    Default Re: Driving with bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Yunzow View Post
    Every package I've ever got, there has been "stragglers" hanging out on the outside of the box.
    Even after you think you got them off, last time there was definitely one in the cabin with me last year.
    And the last time I got a package I wanted more of the stragglers on the package lol they just hang out in the windows lol

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    San Joaquin, California, USA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Driving with bees

    I've done it. Same situation , rainy day in April last year. It didn't occur to me to worry. I have seen comments that they act "swarmish", not inclined to get riled up. Don't know how you would get them back in the box but a few bees lost out of a three pound box is not a major problem.

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