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Ask The Beekeeper
09-09-2011, 09:17 AM
Post: #11
RE: Ask The Beekeeper
I have only ever been stung by bees, never wasps and hornets, and yet they get all the bad press.

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09-09-2011, 09:28 AM
Post: #12
RE: Ask The Beekeeper
(09-09-2011 09:05 AM)Rey Wrote:  One time I was sitting in a car at a bank drive through with the window rolled down. Suddenly a bee came in the window, stung me on my arm, then left and flew away. Why did he do that?

As I was not there, I have know way of knowing for sure, but my first reaction is that you were prob. not stung by a honeybee.

We all confuse honeybees with Yellow Jackets. Yellow Jackets are a member of the wasp family and a notoriously ill tempered and known to "attack" seemingly at random like this. Also, a honeybee's stinging apparatus is designed to sting other insects, not mammals. The barb at the end of its stinger unfortunately gets stuck in our skin and actually pulls the stinger, venom sack and guts out of a honey bee. Though it does not die right there it obviously will. A yellow Jackets stinger is not barbed, it can sting its target repeatedly and it can fly away after inflicting its wrath.

A quick way to tell the difference is Yellow Jackets have no hair on their bodies whereas the honey bee does. Yellow Jackets are also back and BRIGHT yellow and the Honeybee is black and more orange than yellow.

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09-09-2011, 10:01 AM (This post was last modified: 09-09-2011 10:01 AM by Rey.)
Post: #13
RE: Ask The Beekeeper
Well, maybe he was at that. Didn't get a good enough look at the fellow, it all happened so fast, only he was mean and ornery, that one.

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09-09-2011, 10:40 AM (This post was last modified: 09-09-2011 10:41 AM by old honda rider.)
Post: #14
RE: Ask The Beekeeper
(09-09-2011 09:05 AM)Rey Wrote:  One time I was sitting in a car at a bank drive through with the window rolled down. Suddenly a bee came in the window, stung me on my arm, then left and flew away. Why did he do that?

Because his buddy said, "Hey, Rey's coming down the highway! Go get'em!"

Reminds me of a funny - and 100% true - story.

Me and a buddy were taking a road trip in his new 1979 Camaro. He was driving. Glorious day. Windows open, NEP and friends playing on the car stereo.

Suddenly, my buddy begins to shout, "Oh no!!! Ahhhhh!!" He pulled over to the shoulder and began frantically pawing his shorts, howling and shouting all the while.

Finally, after much hollering and pawing, a bee flew out of his shorts and lazily made it out of the car through the window.

Turns out that a bee had bounced off my buddy's arm and ricochet'ed into his shorts. My buddy saw the whole thing happen, from impact on his arm to a new heading into his shorts. I had seen nothing and had no idea why he was acting like he did. Didn't make sense to me until the bee emerged from the shorts and moved off.

My buddy did not get stung. Lucky. Very lucky.

And I couldn't help but laugh my fool head off!

(Oh, and for the record, it most definitely WAS a bee and not a yellow-jacket, a creature that I hold in utmost contempt.)

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09-09-2011, 11:07 AM
Post: #15
RE: Ask The Beekeeper
Great story...

It was literally just the other day, we were in a restaurant at the register near the front door paying our bill, when in walks this fellow who had a bee on the back of his shirt. I didn't notice it at first, but as the hostess began to lead him away to a table I saw it, the bee just calmly sitting there right by his shirt collar. When the hostess returned, I told her about the bee, and she went back to the table to check on it. The man was starting to look at his menu already, when I saw the hostess sneaking up behind him to have a look, and then saw her eyes grow wide as she spotted it. She seemed not to know what to do, but then grabbed a napkin, slowly informed the gentleman of his predicament, and then calmly plucked the bee up with the napkin, like it was nothing. When she came back, she was all flustered, saying, "I can't believe I just did that!"

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09-09-2011, 11:26 AM
Post: #16
RE: Ask The Beekeeper
(09-09-2011 11:07 AM)Rey Wrote:  Great story...

It was literally just the other day, we were in a restaurant at the register near the front door paying our bill, when in walks this fellow who had a bee on the back of his shirt. I didn't notice it at first, but as the hostess began to lead him away to a table I saw it, the bee just calmly sitting there right by his shirt collar. When the hostess returned, I told her about the bee, and she went back to the table to check on it. The man was starting to look at his menu already, when I saw the hostess sneaking up behind him to have a look, and then saw her eyes grow wide as she spotted it. She seemed not to know what to do, but then grabbed a napkin, slowly informed the gentleman of his predicament, and then calmly plucked the bee up with the napkin, like it was nothing. When she came back, she was all flustered, saying, "I can't believe I just did that!"

Bees really are much maligned and seemed to get lumped into the general "all stinging insect are to be feared" category. When most often the culprit is a wasp/yellow jacket who is known as a rather prolific attacker...

When in actuality (and this is not meant to excuse ALL bees) the honeybee does not want to give its life for no reason. It will vehemently defend its colony, but will ride around on your shirt collar all day long if it is not threatened. Approach a honeybee colony and you may have a few bees dive bomb your head, yet the same bee will let you snap pictures and investigate it at fairly close range while it is out foraging. It will sting while foraging, but generally only when it is threatened.

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09-09-2011, 11:40 AM
Post: #17
RE: Ask The Beekeeper
Another modern myth - well, I don't know if it's a myth or not - is about the spread of so-called "killer bees" from the American southwest to pretty much the rest of the continent. And the spread was initiated by a luckless beekeeper's assistant somewhere in Mexico who inadvertently let a queen escape and the rest is history. Maybe.

From what I understand (again, no idea if this is true or not) they're actually not any more poisonous but have a hair-trigger temper and will attack a potential danger to the colony en masse.

True? False? Somewhere in between?

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09-09-2011, 12:28 PM
Post: #18
RE: Ask The Beekeeper
(09-09-2011 11:40 AM)old honda rider Wrote:  Another modern myth - well, I don't know if it's a myth or not - is about the spread of so-called "killer bees" from the American southwest to pretty much the rest of the continent. And the spread was initiated by a luckless beekeeper's assistant somewhere in Mexico who inadvertently let a queen escape and the rest is history. Maybe.

From what I understand (again, no idea if this is true or not) they're actually not any more poisonous but have a hair-trigger temper and will attack a potential danger to the colony en masse.

True? False? Somewhere in between?

Other than it was in Brazil, not Mexico you are correct on all accounts. I have pictures from my mentors shoes after opening a hive in S. America with over 300 stings in his shoes after standing next to a colony for 15 seconds. En Masse for sure! They just overwhelm their victims!

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09-09-2011, 01:14 PM
Post: #19
RE: Ask The Beekeeper
I heard the physics of bee flight referred to Bumblebees as being too big for their wing size. And don't bumbles lead a solitary existence, not forming vast colonies?

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09-09-2011, 05:50 PM
Post: #20
RE: Ask The Beekeeper
(09-09-2011 01:14 PM)BrianW Wrote:  I heard the physics of bee flight referred to Bumblebees as being too big for their wing size. And don't bumbles lead a solitary existence, not forming vast colonies?

They are indeed rather solitary. some can be managed and used as pollinators. mostly for high bush blueberries etc.

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