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I'm about to bring a curious friend to see my beehives. Told him they were calm and not to worry. Then I realized he's black (Hey you're black! :eek:) and how the bees love to attack my camera. Not Will Smith/Obama black - but Wesley Snipes/Africa black. I'll give him a veil, but it got me thinking - how much more aggressive are bees to really dark skinned people?

I only ever see white guys on youtube without a veil.

Chris
 

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I would make sure he has a veil, and tell him to wear light colored clothes. I doubt he will get much more attention than anyone else. G
 

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Frankly, I think the color bit is over emphasized. At least in my experience. I work them in darker colors all the time. The contrast between light clothes and his skin my be an issue, they do seem to key on contrast.
 

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how much more aggressive are bees to really dark skinned people?
I only ever see white guys on youtube without a veil. Chris
Not anymore aggressive than they are to white people, with black veils:D, unless their veils were triangular at the top, then maybe :lpf: Also there's a reason that you only see white guys on youtube without veils :lookout:
 

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My N=1 is that they don't like dark colors. Tried using a regular dark bristled paint brush as a frame brush once and they tried to tear the brush apart. I wear jeans and an upper jacket and they always try to sting me in the legs and rarely on the white jacket.

That being said we've had two dogs, one brown and one black, both have stuck their noses right into the hives and never got stung.

~Matt
 

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I'm about to bring a curious friend to see my beehives. Told him they were calm and not to worry. Then I realized he's black (Hey you're black! :eek:) and how the bees love to attack my camera. Not Will Smith/Obama black - but Wesley Snipes/Africa black. I'll give him a veil, but it got me thinking - how much more aggressive are bees to really dark skinned people?

I only ever see white guys on youtube without a veil.

Chris
Unless you both intend to look at the bees naked I do not think there is an issue.

Looked at another way African bees can be nasty, African bee keepers can tend to be black. If they can manage nasty bees I do not think your friend should have a problem. My friend from Africa asked if I could set up a hive in his yard, I told him to let me over winter them first.
 

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Don't know the politically correct answer but from my observations bees do not like shiny and they don't like darker hues. For instance they attack my hive tool that has all the paint worn off and if I wear a camo ball cap I get stung on the top of my ear from them going after the cap (I think) I wander the apiary unprotected at times.

My neighbors are darker colored versions of me and don't seem to be getting attacked despite mowing their lawn etc. I think bees are color-blind. (j/k)
Protect your friend like you would any other person.
It took courage to ask and it is a valid question.
 

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Every colony has it's own personality. But I've seen plenty of people of African decent work a hive in nothing but shorts, a tee shirt and a veil. I've worked them in blue jeans, and even black jeans, but the darker the jeans the more likely I'll get nailed on the knee...
 

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I always wear a white jacket and blue jeans and dark purple nitrile gloves. As far as the bees know, I was born that way, since I never appear in their fields of vision without that costume in warm whether. I can't say I've seen any pattern to their interest in me or my variously shaded parts.

In winter I wear dark olive green Carhardt bibs and a dark green down jacket and nothing on my head except a grey rag wool cap. I believe that they think that the "winter" beekeeper is a nicer human because she brings sugar blocks as presents and never takes any honey away. I sometimes get stung in winter on my bare, pale, hands when I am rewarming cold-stunned bees in my pockets and we get our signals crossed.

Enj.
 

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" I sometimes get stung in winter on my bare, pale, hands when I am rewarming cold-stunned bees in my pockets and we get our signals crossed"

You are making my bees jealous! They don't get warmed up in pockets. :)
 

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95% of the time I work my hives I wear a Bug Baffler, which is pretty much a jacket made of veil material and is pretty dark. I seldom get stung so I've become skeptical of the old idea that bees are somehow thinking a bear is tearing open their home.

Wayne
 

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I have a stocking cap with a black decal on the front and a black ring around it, always full of stingers. My ball caps are light but I always take stings to the head where there's the open crescent in the back of the cap that shows my dark hair. Veilless, the darkest skinned people's eye sockets, nostrils, etc. are still darker than the rest of their face and the bees will go after those spots the same way they go after those spots on me. My one white shirt with a black logo on the left breast of the shirt always takes multiple stings from an agitated hive. It seems to me the bees will go after the isolated dark spots on an organism as nature has programmed them, eyes, nose, mouth, ear "holes", as those are its most sensitive spots. If I have holes in my jeans they fly right in and sting. Bees are definitely more prone to attacking darker colors.

The way I usually suit up is with a short sleeved white shirt, veil, and a smoker. I think a black person would probably take more stings to their arms than I would when doing the same manipulations to the same hives, which isn't saying the hive would empty out and the black person would have thousands of stings in the arms. Just a few more stings to the arms than I would take.
 

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I switched to white painters pants from jeans and noticed a big difference in the "interest" I received. I usually I wear a black belt and they always hit that first. I use a black sharpie to make notes on top of the hives and they are always trying to nail the cap. Colour matters - not on a warm sunny day when there is a flow on, it really doesn't matter what you wear then - but I often work bees after work, late in the day and on overcast or drizzly days.
 

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I believe that they think that the "winter" beekeeper is a nicer human because she brings sugar blocks as presents and never takes any honey away.
Enj.
Probably more having to do with the delta in flight muscle temperature between an actively brooding cluster and a swarm (or winter cluster which I believe is similar temp). Actively brooding about 93* broodnest and flight temp is basically right there, around 95*? Compared to winter cluster temp in the 70s or so. That's a lot more warming up they have to do before they can fly. It's why you can pop the top slip something in and close it right back up before they even have a chance to react in winter.

It's the reason that when you shake a swarm 90% of them fall to the ground before they can react. Their cluster is not up to flight temperature until just before they all take off.
 

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Hmm never thought of it that way .. Ive been black a long time.. and get hit about as much as any other of my beeks brothers and sisters of another mother.
 

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Today I was feeding and pulling some frames on nucs and decided to wear my bee jacket juist to keep bees out of my face and was in shorts. The only place I got stung was thru my white socks! Not a single sting on my legs.
 

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I have some welders gloves that are white with black cuffs. My bees never sting the white part, but viciously sting the black cuffs. Painted them yellow with spray rubber and now not an issue.
 
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