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Different people keep different hives- langs with single, double or triple deeps, some number of mediums, some combinations of deeps and mediums, or other styles and sizes. All will have varying numbers of bees. The question cannot be answered in this manner.

Further, different bees can have different sizes. First, you have to establish what sort of bee you want to use, then measure the average carrying capacity of that bee. Then you have to establish what sort of person you want to lift- people come in a wide variety of size and weight. When you know how much weight you need to lift, it's just a matter of doing the math to determine how many (of what type) bees it will take to lift that mass...well, except for the fact that you would need to determine the method of attachment of the bees to the person, calculate the weight of the attachment method and how many additional bees (and their attachments) are required to overcome the differential.

Attaching with steel cable probably won't work, because the bees will never be able to overcome the weight of the attachments...maybe spider silk?

Have fun.
 

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To answer that question we would have to state that the average American is say, 100kg.

See below for a very rough estimate, assuming each bee is tethered to a string which is connected to an American.

The force required to lift a 100kg American off the ground is going to be roughly equivalent to its weight, while considering acceleration like the force of gravity (acceleration down).

F=ma
 

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A bee can lift approximately 50% of its body mass, and a typical honey bee weighs half a gram.

So, very basically speaking, it would take 200,000 2g bees (x4 because they weigh half a gram) to equal the force needed to lift a 100kg American. So 800,000 bees.

Dozen full sized colonies might be correct.

so long as they were all tethered to individual strings and had enough surface area to all cling, etc.

Physically speaking, without a special apparatus, it would be impossible, because every single surface of the American would be covered in bees before it was even close to being lifted.
 

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I've seen bees grab another dead one and fly off the bottom board so I guess they can carry their own weight. So if you weigh 150 pounds it would take 50 bee packages to carry you. I use bee packages because we all know about how many bees are in them.
 

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Please don't suggest this line of thinking to the yellowjackets. Pretty soon we'd be losing small children off the streets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ha Ha...I'll have to do some calculations. I also believe it would have to be at sea level on a cool day when the air is most dense, no wind, and a rather skinny dehydrated individual.
 

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edited: That's 50X10000.

Bees cannot reliably lift more than 50% of their bodyweight, and weigh 0.5g, do the math, the conclusion is nearly 1 million bees for a person who weighs 220 pounds. 50 packages could lift a 50kg adult, in theory.

They would have to be individually tethered using a "bee parachute".

-Yeah - sea level is definitely required, and temperatures would have to be at the flight muscle optimum, which is likely very warm, so that would negate any air density in cooler weather.

I could be wrong about this - would love for someone else to crunch the number and propose an alternative to my above post.
 

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No way, 50 packages isn't even close to the correct number of bees. That's 50X3000 = 150,000.
Remind me to never buy bees from your package supplier. I think he is a little light on bees.
 

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:coffee:Har har har - Jokes on you, I don't buy bees (just a few queens).

ah - so they come with 10,000 bees
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My bees are out right now and it's 55F, so I will say the test can be performed in the early AM before it gets too hot. In hot humid air the air density would be quite thin and more difficult to fly in.
 
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