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Old 05-10-2011, 11:50 AM   #15
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I havent watched the vid yet Rob,but I was always amazed by my grandfather. He would wear a straw hat to keep the bees out of his hair a can rubber on each sleeve(long sleeve shirt) a red bandanna around his neck and string or can rubbers on his pants legs and that was it he never got stung on the face that I can remember. He would go to neighbors in our area and remove bees and nests from homes for free just for the bees. Then he would put them in hive in his orchard.
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Old 05-10-2011, 03:41 PM   #16
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I definitely remove them for the bees, but not usually for free. It is a significant amount of work, and I have to take many precautions to avoid doing anything that would prompt legal action against me. In this day and age, someone across the street might think to sue me if they got stung by a wasp while I was working on a bee hive. It usually takes about 6 hours to pack everything. Set up and mask off, then cleanup. But, one of my main goals is to get wild bees that have made it on their own without any chemicals or treatments to keep them alive.
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:18 PM   #17
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My grandfather was a bee-keeper most of his life. I remember him taking trips to GA to get bees.
He never wore any protective gear, though. none. bare-handed.
I remember going to retrieve a swarm with him once. The swarm had taken up housekeeping on a low tree branch, only 4 or 5 feet above ground, in someone's back yard. (I guess that is somewhat rare).
Anyway, after getting them off the branch and into a hive-box, there were still a whole bunch of bees sort of "spilled" on the ground, and I actually found the queen crawling around there. He picked her up carefully, put her in the box, then took some handfuls (bare handfuls) of bees that were still going back to the paper hive (or what was left of it), and gently poured them onto the queen. Didn't take too long for them to get the message, and the word spread...pretty soon, they were all heading for the box on their own.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:03 PM   #18
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That's a neat experience. Funny thing. The movie The Swarm (it's in my Netflix account to watch after the kids are in bed) did a lot to freak people out.

When a hive is swarmed, it's actually the safest situation. They aren't protecting anything, so the risk of stinging is incredibly low, just the opposite of what you see in movies.

Swarms still happen. I had one 2 days ago, but they were 40 feet up in a tree, so I lost them. I would be a lot more careful about it though in Florida Texas, and California. They have Africanized bees. You can still manage them, but suits are mandatory.
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:55 AM   #19
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right...and this was (gulp) ~30 years ago...in VT. (gawd, how OLD am I??).
GF has been gone some 25 years, now. doesn't seem like its been that long.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:09 PM   #20
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I have seen several of the old timers around here get swarms out of low hanging branches without any protection at all. Bees all over them everywhere without getting stung at all. I just can't bring myself to do that.

I got a bee in my ear canal once while getting honey, it sounded like a bulldozer in there. Got it out without getting stung though. I'll keep wearing my veil and gloves.

Chuck, I know what you mean. I'm getting on too. It was about 40 years ago when my uncle started to teach me what little I know about beekeeping.
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:25 PM   #21
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Very cool video - thanks for sharing. I kept bees years ago, when I lived in central MI. I've thought about getting back into it, and watching you stirs up that longing, but damned if I'm not allergic to stings now.
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:46 AM   #22
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bummer. I've been concerned that I could possilby develop an allergy. I was stung on an ankle once about 40 times, and another time I was stung in the neck about 15 times. Other than that, normally only 4 - 5 times a year.

You can be extremely careful, but sometimes it's just the random mistake, or a bee hiding under a fold of clothing that will get you.
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