Harmless little bees?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by peter hillman, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. peter hillman

    peter hillman Let me think for minute....

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    LAS VEGAS (AP) - Authorities say a swarm of bees in Las Vegas sent two people to the hospital and killed a dog.

    The Clark County Fire Department says people were running down a small street in Las Vegas while being chased by bees late Friday afternoon. Several ambulances responded and firefighters wore protective clothing to assist people during the swarm.

    Officials say two people were taken to the hospital with unknown injuries and one person was treated on the scene.

    The fire department says a dog that was outside at the time of the attack died at the scene.

    Authorities said the scene was considered an active swarm area as of 7:30 p.m. Friday and were warning people to stay inside and keep their windows shut.
     
    peter hillman, Apr 9, 2017
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  2. peter hillman

    koiguy1969 GIGGETY-GIGGETY!!

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    Africanized bees?
     
    koiguy1969, Apr 9, 2017
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  3. peter hillman

    JBtheExplorer Native Gardener

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    Most bees are harmless and non-aggressive. Most don't even form colonies. These sound like Africanized bees, but I could very well bee wrong.
     
    JBtheExplorer, Apr 9, 2017
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  4. peter hillman

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    We have around 650,000 bees in our back yard, during prime summer season, close to that number right now. They never bother us unless we are going into their hives. Even then they ignore us, most of the time. We do have a few guard bees flying around our heads checking us out. They hang on the edge of the frames watching us to see what we are doing, but never have a swarm chase us.

    I work with vinyl gloves on, they never sting through them. We do wear bee suits when out there. When nectar is flowing you can be out without a suit on, they ignore you totally. We never do it is not worth it.

    When they swarm they are actually very gentle you can pick them up without protective gear. Their bellies are full of honey, ready to find a nice new home and start making wax cells for the queen.

    Africanized bees are a different story, they are very aggressive, attack like wasps do, as a group. They will sting anything and everything.

    We are too far north for them to live here, so far, they have not adapted to cold.
     
    addy1, Apr 9, 2017
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  5. peter hillman

    bagsmom

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    Down here, we have yellow jackets. We learned that when one stings you, it puts out a chemical that marks you as an enemy of the colony and causes the rest to attack. My neighbor unknowingly mowed over a nest. She had come home from the gym and since she was all grungy, decided to go ahead and mow. Her keys were in her car and the door to the house was locked. More and more yellow jackets came out of the hole in the ground to join the attack. I looked out the window and couldn't figure out why she was running all over the yard, flailing around and yelling. She was stung about 30 times!
    I love honeybees and bumblebees. They mind their own business. Carpenter bees are hilarious -- they are all bravado. They get up in your face but don't (can't?) sting. Even many wasps are just after nectar. But those yellow jackets nest in the ground and in rocks so they are often in unexpected places. And they are not Live and Let Live creatures. They are very aggressive.
    The africanized bees scare me.
     
    bagsmom, Apr 10, 2017
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  6. peter hillman

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Scare me to , if they were up here, we would not have bees.

    We have had two aggressive hives, we split and requeened both, that calmed them both down. By aggressive I mean there would be more than normal bees circling your head, guarding the hive, also landing on your suit. But not chasing you across the yard, mass sting attack.

    I mowed over a yellow jacket nest, I saw them come out in a cloud, me and my mower were gone! Took my tractor dumped a bucket load of dirt on the opening.
     
    addy1, Apr 10, 2017
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  7. peter hillman

    bagsmom

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    My youngest got stung by a yellow jacket when he was about 6 or 7. Fortunately, it must have been a loner out scouting for a new nest or something to eat. We got him indoors before he got stung again. He is a bright little scientist, so he hopped on the internet to do research, while holding an icepack on his nose (where he was stung.)
    He is the one who found the information about the chemical marker that alerts other yellow jackets that you are the enemy. At his age, he didn't quite get that the situation was only temporary. He was worried for quite a while that yellow jackets would be on the lookout for him.
     
    bagsmom, Apr 10, 2017
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  8. peter hillman

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    I had a yellow jacket sting my tender bobbie, it hurt for months, stayed swollen and red. Those suckers hurt me. A lot worse than a big sting. I had my hand stung while mowing, I had to quit mowing, instant could not use my hand.
     
    addy1, Apr 10, 2017
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  9. peter hillman

    Tula

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    Many years ago, a little girl at our school, lost her father to an attack of yellow jackets, while mowing their lawn :(
     
    Tula, Apr 10, 2017
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  10. peter hillman

    sissy sissy

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    We get a lot of ground bees and I always have to watch when I mow .I had to take out 4 ground nests last year .
     
    sissy, Apr 10, 2017
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  11. peter hillman

    budgenator

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    Sounds like you might be developing an allergy. I've got one, if I've gone a few years and I'm stung, it's not too bad, but if I've been stung a 3 or 4 times in a couple years, the reaction is more alarming, I can even feel my throat swell.

    I'm going to be putting out traps this year. Last year we had more yellow jackets than normal and our winter was milder than usual, so I suspect there will be more than normal and they'll be more aggressive due to population pressure. Makes sense to get out in front of it; if your setting out traps, they love beer.
     
    budgenator, Apr 10, 2017
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  12. peter hillman

    Mucky_Waters

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    I constantly run into wasps and hornet nest on houses I'm working on. Generally if you do your best to leave them alone they will leave you alone, but sometimes their nest is right where you need to do something so that means disturbing them. It's one thing to wipe out their nest, but often half of them are out foraging and get a little upset when they come back and find their house missing. Things get even worse in the heat of the late summer when they tend to be much more aggressive.
    Anyway, I'm use to working around these little buggers and can usually deal with them, but had to leave the job site one time when a type of little bee started bothering the buddy I as working with. They looked like normal honey bees, but they were small and dark. It started with a few flying around his head while we were up on some scaffold. He said they kept flying into his hat, he even took his hat off and held it at arms length and showed me that they kept dive bombing his hat. It was kind of funny, but they were persistent and wouldn't leave it alone. He tried putting his hat back on and ignoring them, but finally one stung the back of his neck and then things got ugly. Suddenly there were too many to count all dive bombing his head and trying to sting him so we jumped down from the scaffold and stood away from the house, but they were on his tail and we moved to the far side of the house. We went over to where our vehicles were parked and got in and they started divebombing the car window. We stayed in the car for about 15 minutes and called the owner of the house who was at work at the time and left a message on his cell explaining the situation to him. After 15 minutes we got out of the vehicle and the bees immediate returned. Enough was enough so we left work for the day and the owner finally got back to us and said their was a woman who kept bee hives on his property and she was out there that days attending (disturbing) her bees. I questioned him about the particular type of bees she kept and specifically asked if they were some sort of Africanised bee but he said they weren't. I guess they weren't because it appears Africanized are about the same size and color as normal honey bees and these ones were small and black, the only thing I know is I've never seen bees, wasps, hornets or yellowjackets so persistently chase people so far away from their nest and actually stick around a car waiting for the occupants to get out. If these were actually the bees from that lady's bee hives we were working a good 100 yards away from the hives.
    Fortunately they never bothered us again even when we went and worked up on the same wall that those ones started giving us trouble, so it wasn't related to us disturbing any nest in that specific area.
     
    Mucky_Waters, Apr 10, 2017
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  13. peter hillman

    Lisak1

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    I got stung in the lip by a yellow jacket last summer. They had a small nest behind the shutter on the house - they are always there - and a bigger one in the ground nearby. I must have brushed past it on my way to turn off the hose. It felt like something stabbed me in the face. My mouth and face swelled so fast my husband wanted to take me to the ER. I had my daughter run get me some Benadryl and that stopped the swelling, but it stayed swollen for two or three days.

    Another time years ago I was mowing the grass and mowed right over a nest. As I walked over it, they swarmed up my leg. I got stung about 15 times. I walked around dragging my leg for about a week that time - I lost all feeling in my leg from my ankle to my knee.

    I do not like yellow jackets. Unlike bees, they can sting over and over again so they do not hesitate to attack and they have a nasty temperament. And they make it impossible to eat or drink outside on the patio in the fall. Not a fan.
     
    Lisak1, Apr 10, 2017
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  14. peter hillman

    peter hillman Let me think for minute....

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    Hmm, what we call 'yellow jackets' may not be the same thing y'alls have. They have more of a bite than a sting, can be painful tho. Once backhanded once that was trying to get my BBQ, it got me right between the fingers I was so amazed that it got me that quickly that it took a while for the pain to set in.
     
    peter hillman, Apr 11, 2017
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  15. peter hillman

    Lisak1

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    Yup. That's a yellow jacket. They hurt like CRAZY.
     
    Lisak1, Apr 11, 2017
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  16. peter hillman

    adavisus

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    Something to avoid whenever the weather is hot

    A real cold wet dawn is a bit safer to tackle wasp nest demolition
     
    adavisus, Apr 11, 2017
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  17. peter hillman

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    The small dark ones could have been russian, they tend to be darker.
    Africanized are still down in the warm south. I wouldn't think they would be up in Canada.
    When we work the hives the guard bees do get a bit testy and also time of year makes a big difference. Is nectar flowing, are they low of food etc.

    Wasps really hurt, so far never had trouble breathing etc. But the pain............whoa

    Honey bees, if stung, I smear Unkers on the sting, pain gone instantly, no swelling, all it does is itch a bit the next day.
     
    addy1, Apr 11, 2017
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  18. peter hillman

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    @Mucky_Waters Did you or your buddy/co-worker ever find out why the heck those bees were only after his hat? I wonder if there was some chemical/pheromone involved -- maybe he had interesting smelling sweat. My husband, son, and I were working in the back yard a couple of years ago [doing a pond upgrade], and there was some kind of bee or wasp [was long enough ago that I don't recall anything about the insect.] that kept buzzing around one of us -- I think it was my husband. It was never aggressive, but it was a comical set-up. We finally decided that it was attracted to the particular color he was wearing. Who knows....
     
    Mmathis, Apr 11, 2017
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  19. peter hillman

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    When hubby and I work the hives, he has maybe two bees around his head I have a cloud!

    I wash with his soap no makeup no perfume, no body lotion. They just like me.
     
    addy1, Apr 11, 2017
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  20. peter hillman

    peter hillman Let me think for minute....

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    I remember when I was young bee stings were part of life. Now to even see a bee is something to write on the calendar. Same with butterfly's around here.
     
    peter hillman, Apr 12, 2017
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