Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 20 of 53 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,150 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have a very mean hive, should have just killed it. Very large and strong, 4 med boxes full. I really wanted to save the hive but there was no working thru the frames looking for the queen. So we split the hive, then I went back later to move the bottom two boxes and leave a box with comb in it for the fliers to return too and I was going to go break them into single boxes and then go thru them one at a time the next day without the overwhelming number of fliers. So much for the PLAN.... Well most of the bees from the first split had returned to the hive compressed into two boxes. I decided to pick the two boxes up with the top on it and move it at one time. I've never seen so many bees come out of two boxes in my life, I was covered. Trying to hurry I tripped, dropped both boxes busting them open and for good measure FELL ON TOP OF THEM.

I'm alone, the golf care is behind me and they've declared WAR and intend to kill me. I wear Deluth fire hose pants and have never been stung thru them until now. I have been stung thru my gloves and canvas gauntlets. I have boots on and taped the legs down thank god. So I take off running for the house... I'm 64, the house is 300 yards away and I've had quad bypass surgery and 2 stints. I'm thinking I can't run 300 yards but surely the bees will let up. after 150 yards still covered and a cloud following me I have to slow down. Now I realize I can't run IN SIDE the house, so I start thinking of other plans, like jump in a car. my green house is out front with a hose that is on and a had held sprinkler head with good water pressure and that's where I go.

I relearned some lessons I had learned in the past, but I learned a couple that I hadn't. Don't put the golf cart behind you, leave it were it is in your running path. Better yet, a CAR, that you can jump in. Don't go alone if at all avoidable and one I NEVER thought of. You can't call for help on an iphone that can't see your face through a veil and you can't type the code with big leather gloves on.
I'll always beekeep with my phone on NEVER LOCK. So you can Yell at Siri to call for help. I went back the next morning (yesterday) at dawn with a bucket of diesel. No more mean bees, and I will never try to save a hive that is that large and that mean ever again.

So if you've ever kicked yourself for being stupid. Come back and read this post and it will make you realize that you're not a stupid as I am.... Now that I'm safe, and not scratching and burning, I really wish someone had caught that disaster on video.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,266 Posts
haha that sounds like those little black german bees I kept years ago. Had about ten hives in the edge of the hay field, you would have to put on suit and veil inside the car and light the smoker inside the car cause they were head butting the windows. I was never so glad to see all of them die out. They were no fun at all. Just imagine hauling them around in the trunk and back seat of the car also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,580 Posts
I went back the next morning (yesterday) at dawn with a bucket of diesel.
This was not necessary either.
Add one more.
:)

Just left to burn all that equipment now; should burn well.
 

·
Registered
4ish langstrom hives
Joined
·
1,542 Posts
You can't call for help on an iphone that can't see your face through a veil and you can't type the code with big leather gloves on.
I'll always beekeep with my phone on NEVER LOCK.
I sometimes am able to get touchscreens to work using the top of the joint on a finger to push on the screen. The top of the joint is harder, so it is easier to get enough pressure to push the screen even with gloves on. The top of my hands also are usually not covered in as much junk
 

·
Registered
Russian Bees
Joined
·
47 Posts
I wonder what a good flame thrower cost these days? I may add one to my kit and keep it handy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
467 Posts
I had to look up " Deluth fire hose pants " since this was the first time I had seen them. Are they very hot in warm weather?
I dropped a deep box while wearing shorts and a T-shirt. You talk about dancing, I was trying to shake bees out of my shorts. Finally I just took the pants off and ran home to take a Benadryl and a cold shower.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,675 Posts
Duluth Trading's Firehose pants are good, they last longer than anything else at my job, and plenty of pockets. I don't think that they're too hot, but then, I don't think FLA or TX in August is too hot either (I'm skinny, no insulation, I need lots of heat).

A few years ago, on a hot August day I killed a bunch of bees trying to get the top deep on a booming hive. I had a full suit on and was sweating and thirsty by the time I got them back together, they were really p*ssed.

I decided to take a break, and have a drink and a smoke. I had one more hive to check, and after a bit I decided to move my bag of tools and smoker over to the last hive so it would be there when I was ready. I didn't suit up because I was going to go back and sit for a bit more. I had to walk past the hive that I'd just riled up to get to the last one, never even thought about whether they were still mad or not...they were.

I think I made it about 100yds before I fell on my face in the field, bees tangled in my hair and stinging the crap out of my head. My wife couldn't help, she was too busy busting a gut laughing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
I don't think it's stupid to make a mistake, everyone does. But if you keep repeating the same mistakes while expecting a different result? I'm going to laugh really hard!

But I hope I remember your tip about keeping my phone unlocked and available when working my hives!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,665 Posts
I sometimes am able to get touchscreens to work using the top of the joint on a finger to push on the screen. The top of the joint is harder, so it is easier to get enough pressure to push the screen even with gloves on. The top of my hands also are usually not covered in as much junk
I can barely get touch screens to work at all, even under ideal conditions. Something about my skin? The screen just doesn't react. At work I can't use the biometric fingerprint scanner, have to log into machines manually about half the time. So I have a flip phone. The 'kids' at work laugh at me, old geezer. Well, I am.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,580 Posts
I'd say you should send your cardiac surgeon a thank-you card! Sounds like he or she did a pretty good job.
For sure, they did not do their job in a hurry and did not rush into doing 2-3 cuts at once so to finish the job a minute faster.
:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,675 Posts
I can barely get touch screens to work at all, even under ideal conditions. Something about my skin? The screen just doesn't react. At work I can't use the biometric fingerprint scanner, have to log into machines manually about half the time. So I have a flip phone. The 'kids' at work laugh at me, old geezer. Well, I am.
If I remember to take my phone with me, I have a bluetooth ear-piece. All I have to do is tap it through the hood and tell it to call.

Sometimes I can't get the touchscreen to respond, and other times the mousepads on my laptops will do funky stuff if I just get my fingers near them. I suspect it has something to do with the capacitance level in the skin, possibly with an additional variable of humidity in the air.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,376 Posts
Horrible experience for sure, but don't you think you could have handled it differently and had a better outcome?
At the least, if you were determined to kill the hive, you could have dumped a bucket of soapy water on them and saved all of your boxes,frames, drawn comb. Invaluable resources. What a waste.
You could have inserted queen excluders between the boxes and isolated the queen. Then find her and requeen or if really that mean, destroy that one box.
I am not doubting your story and that they were mean, but 4 mediums is not really that large to deal with.
I hesitated posting this, but there are a lot of newbies on here this time of year and want them to know there are multiple ways of dealing with a mean hive. Number 1 is to requeen. J
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,150 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If I remember to take my phone with me, I have a bluetooth ear-piece. All I have to do is tap it through the hood and tell it to call.

Sometimes I can't get the touchscreen to respond, and other times the mousepads on my laptops will do funky stuff if I just get my fingers near them. I suspect it has something to do with the capacitance level in the skin, possibly with an additional variable of humidity in the air.
I have blue tooth earbuds, I never thought about taking them with me in my suit. I will from now on!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,150 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
FiveJ everything I did was trying to requeen, there is a point where it's not worth it. I was there, you were not. I also noticed you are from VERMONT..... You've never seen a real live Africanized bee. Every single county in Florida has Africanized bees. They are a different animal than regular mean bees. I once tried to remove a hive from a barn, the house was 80 yards away, on the other side of the house was a screened porch where the owner was waiting on me. They were chased into the house because the screen door had about an inch gap at the bottom. Their neighbors over 100 yards away where chased inside. I was stung 18 times thru a full suit. They have earned the nick name KILLER Bees... And 4 full medium boxes of killer bees is in fact too many! I won't try it again with a hive this big and this mean. I didn't put this story up to glorify what a beekeeping wizard I am. But I certainly went the extra mile trying NOT to kill bees. I'm also not nearly as fearless as I was when I was younger, you're margin for error needs to be larger when you aren't nearly as fast, strong or sure footed as you once were.
Good luck with you're bee keeping, I'm going to be laying low for a while and let all the queens I just installed raise some nice tame bees hives for me.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AR1

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
Sorry for your misfortune but I enjoyed reading it haha. Made me not feel so bad about an accident I had last week. I was placing swarm traps up around 12-15ft with an extension ladder. After I had the trap hung over some screws I noticed the feet of the ladder were stuck in some brush. I instinctively lifted the ladder to free the legs and pushed the trap up and over the screws it was hanging on. The trap fell out of the tree and hit me on top of my head. The impact cut my head badly and gave me some nasty whiplash. Thankfully no concussion but ended up with a lot of staples and a very sore head and neck for 3-4 days. I will place the ladder to the side from now on. I told my wife it could have been worse, there could have been bees in the trap hah!
 

·
Registered
4ish langstrom hives
Joined
·
1,542 Posts
Sorry for your misfortune but I enjoyed reading it haha. Made me not feel so bad about an accident I had last week. I was placing swarm traps up around 12-15ft with an extension ladder. After I had the trap hung over some screws I noticed the feet of the ladder were stuck in some brush. I instinctively lifted the ladder to free the legs and pushed the trap up and over the screws it was hanging on. The trap fell out of the tree and hit me on top of my head. The impact cut my head badly and gave me some nasty whiplash. Thankfully no concussion but ended up with a lot of staples and a very sore head and neck for 3-4 days. I will place the ladder to the side from now on. I told my wife it could have been worse, there could have been bees in the trap hah!
ouch, that sound painfull
 

·
Registered
5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
Joined
·
3,379 Posts
Horrible experience for sure, but don't you think you could have handled it differently and had a better outcome?
At the least, if you were determined to kill the hive, you could have dumped a bucket of soapy water on them and saved all of your boxes,frames, drawn comb. Invaluable resources. What a waste.
You could have inserted queen excluders between the boxes and isolated the queen. Then find her and requeen or if really that mean, destroy that one box.
I am not doubting your story and that they were mean, but 4 mediums is not really that large to deal with.
I hesitated posting this, but there are a lot of newbies on here this time of year and want them to know there are multiple ways of dealing with a mean hive. Number 1 is to requeen. J
good post
the OP did start ok with the split, some times a divide and conquer helps.
I have a couple 3 deeps, it does seem as they get bigger they get an attitude, OR perhaps like dogs they sense fear.
4 medium is some what normal size. I tend to encourage newbies to use smaller hives till they gain some experience, however you still need to over winter.

GG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,150 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
good post
the OP did start ok with the split, some times a divide and conquer helps.
I have a couple 3 deeps, it does seem as they get bigger they get an attitude, OR perhaps like dogs they sense fear.
4 medium is some what normal size. I tend to encourage newbies to use smaller hives till they gain some experience, however you still need to over winter.

GG
I use nothing but Mediums, I can't handle a deep that is full of honey. Here in Florida the winters aren't bad, but the bees sure can be. 4 Mediums is normal sized, but not once they become Africanized. I over winter in three but of course they aren't full strength coming out of winter. I rarely have them get this big before I discover they have to be requeened and even more rarely have them dangerously mean. The combination of large numbers with warpaint from berth is not a fun combination. If all beekeeping was this bad, I wouldn't do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
618 Posts
Good story Robbin. Most of us who are long time beekeepers in Florida have had to kill a hive or two. Most of the nay sayers have never dealt with a REALLY mean colony. I once had a swarm,of all things,so mean that I finally vacumned it ,and disposed of it, rather than put it in my apiary.
My definition of a really mean colony is one where 50% plus are on the attack and follow you forever, then wait at the door for you to come out again. They never quit.
 
1 - 20 of 53 Posts
Top