Bees

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M_Kemp
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Bees

Post by M_Kemp » Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:45 am

A couple of years ago my son and I were hiking in the Mesa area when we encountered a swarm of honey bees on a cliff. Here in Michigan we have bees and I have even gathered honey from my aunts hives before. My question is this: How often do these swarms turn out to be the African type out there? When we encountered the bees last time it scared me as we were 20' from them when I noticed it. We were not in any position to run as we were way off any marked trail and very steep. One bee hit me on the ear to "mark" me incase we turned out to be a threat. Was not a pleasant feeling for me, my son was seven at the time. Anyone ever get hammered by bees out there? Ever see the African type? Can you tell the difference before getting hammered? My feeling is just get away no matter what. :)

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Re: Bees

Post by yuccahead » Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:42 am

Here is a DUSA article -
http://www.desertusa.com/mag98/sep/stories/kbees.html

I was hiking near Parker, AZ one time and heard the buzz of a swarm of bees just over a hill that the trail was going over. I didn't even think twice, just turned and quietly hiked back. By the time you find out if they are Africanized or not, it'll be too late.
They've made their way into So. Utah now, so I keep my ears open around here as well.

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Re: Bees

Post by reptilist » Wed Jan 20, 2010 7:04 am

In Southern Arizona the presumption is that, by now they are all African honeybee hybrids.

The bees are the only wild "critter" that I am afraid of...
I wonder if bear spray works on bees?

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Re: Bees

Post by M_Kemp » Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:31 am

Thank you for the link. The encounter I mentioned scared me so much because of the hit I took on the ear. It was marking me for an attack. I guess I am on the right track, paying attention is the best defense. I too am more afraid of the bees than anything else out there. One of the chances you take for the sake of the adventure.

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Re: Bees

Post by coazon de oro » Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:34 am

This past fall when I made the last grass cut of the year, I kept getting headbutts by some killer bees, warning me to stay away. I managed to finish without getting stung, but never bothered to look for the nest.

Last week, I was making the first cutting of the year, and remembered the bees. I had planned to get away if they started to headbutt me again. Well this time they just attacked, they probably recognized me, and figured they had already warned me before.

I made a record fifty yard dash to the house, and remember passing a rabbit. Some bees came inside with me uninvited, luckily I was the only one home at the time, or I would have gotten everyone stung. It took me about five minutes to finish them off.

I later went to spot the nest, it is under some utility poles I have stacked, waiting to be cut into corner fence posts. I also saw the rabbit, it is just a yard decoration that my wife put up. :oops:

Anyway, this made me do a search on killer bees, and I found this links that may help some hikers. The first has a lot of good tips, and the second is the only product that will stop a killer bee attack.

www.saudicaves.com

www.beealert.com

Homar

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Re: Bees

Post by coazon de oro » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:11 pm

The tips on killer bees in the first link are found in their Mexico page.

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Re: Bees

Post by D T » Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:23 pm

A couple of years ago I was in Joshua tree n.p.,I spilled a small amount of water on a pad in my camper and it was on.I got swarmed like never before,a few then,then hundreds,then thousands,and I remembered an old bee keeper I knew told me to be still and not make aggresive movements,so I didnt,but there were so many it was a problem. a couple of people walked up and were going say something to me ,and the next thing I know they were running for their lives,I had to finaly leave ,but was never stung.I noticed they were an amber color instead of the yellow color I was used to.I asume they were Africanized because of the color.

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Re: Bees

Post by gordon » Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:16 am

No, color does not matter, they are as variable as "domestic" bees with regard to color. Even behavior is not always a sure fire way to tell as there are times that domestic bees will attack almost as aggressively as the African strain will. The domestics however will tend not too follow and attack for as great a distance though. Swarming African bees will usually not be quite as aggressive either as they have no nest site to protect.

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Re: Bees

Post by Mrs.Oroblanco » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:54 pm

I'm allergic to bees, so, we are always very careful (I carry a bee sting kit).

You really can't tell a killer bee from a regular bee, (even scientists have to do measurements), but, it doesn't matter because one killer bee queen will cause all the other bees in the hive to act just like the killer bees (even if they aren't).

One trick we use (and really seems to work) is to bring a couple of oranges. Peel them, eat the oranges, and take the peels and put them somewhere away from your camp - not too far, just far enough away to get their interest (since they already think your camp is where they want to be). The color gets their attention and when they dry up, they usually find other places to go. (make sure you don't leave some at your camp).

In the 30+ years we've been doing it - we've had only 1 "incident". (as opposed to before we started doing it.) The sweeter the oranges, the better it seems to get their attention.

Mrs.O

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Re: Bees

Post by Mrs.Oroblanco » Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:00 pm

I forgot to mention that killer bees (or one who is a member of the hive) have one peculiar trait. They usually don't sting first - they will "head butt" you if you are getting close, or in their beeline. If you get a bee or two bumping into you - get away, its all the warning you may get.

Also, don't smash one - they will attack, as it releases a pheromone, and will mark you as a target.

Mrs.O

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