I caught a swarm at a nearby friend's house a couple years ago and had the box with the swarm in the back of my truck with a camper shell on it like I always do. However, after having to slam on the brakes due to an accident in front of me, the box tipped over, broke open slightly, and they decided that wasn't home anymore and made a new home on the tailgate/window. I had plans that I had to rush to after that so I planned to get them into a new box the following morning and allow them time to completely clump back up. By coincidence that night, someone decided to try and break into my truck. Luckily he decided to open the tailgate first and didn't see the swarm of bees there and climbed directly over them. I heard screaming and yelling shortly after that and the sound of him getting fainter and fainter as he was running away. Early that next morning, I recollected the swarm, fed them some sugar syrup with Hive Alive, and the genetics from that swarm now make up most of my hives.
While making splits with a commercial beekeeping in Texas this March, one of our beekeepers collected a swarm on his suit.
We were feeding in a yard that was previously split. Kyle, who in advertently collected the swarm, was moving from hive to hive filling frame feeders.
He had some bees congregating on his suit. We suspected he spilled some syrup on his suit and the bees were enjoying it. Someone else decided to take over feeding as the number of bees on Kyle's suit began to grow.
Eventually, one side of his body was entirely covered in bees. We looked for the queen, but could not find her. We assumed that a queen landed on him coming/going from a colony for a mating flight. We had him jump to dump the bees before we left the yard.
The commercial beekeepers stated that they had not experienced this before. Kyle was glad to bring them a new experience in the bee yard.
Ok, so I have several different locations for my hives. A couple away from home apiaries and some colonies I work at home. Primarily as overflow/experiment/resource colonies.
I have an unattached flat roof garage that I will have some five framers on. They're light enough to work and out of the way of my neighbors should their mood be less than ideal. (Poor tempered, swarmy, queenless colonies, etc..)
Well couple years back I had one particular swarm I housed in one of these five framers -on top of my garage . Super productive, worked in very poor weather but very very poorly tempered. Like, just angry all the time..
So I decided to requeen/combine with a mini nuc I had split from a hive I really liked.
Culled the queen, put some newspaper over top and added the mini nuc above.
Several days later I'm leaving for work on my motorcycle. At this point I'm fully geared up. Jacket, gloves and neon green high vis helmet. I decided to take a quick peak up the ladder at the front of the hive to see if they had chewed the newspaper up (combining the colonies).
And this is where I got real stupid. I decided to scramble up and just pop the top to see if it looked like they had combined.
Don't ask me what I was thinking, I clearly wasn't. Clearly.
Pop, I pop the lid with my knife and fury breaks loose...
I must have looked like a hornet from hell with the neon green helmet on cause they came out meaning business. I pop the lid back on, jump back and decide if I want to close the helmet visor and trap the bees inside or risk more from the furious cloud around me. Close it I did. Locking me and at least seven bees with me away from the masses.
I fireman slide down the ladder with some of the angry swarm following. I Run down the driveway to the street and scramble to take off my helmet (remember the trapped bees..), which as it turns out, is very difficult to do with gloves on (peppered with stingers now).
I make it down the drive and the swarm has finally relinquished it's terrifying grasp on me. Now I can take my gloves off and extract my head from the mad buzzing and stinging going on inside the helmet.
Amazingly I only got stung 11 times. Seven in the face, one on the neck and three on the wrist between the jacket and gloves.
The motorcycle ride to work felt SLOOOOOW. Between the massive adrenaline and bee venom coursing through my veins I think time slowed down for me for a few minutes there.
This really reminds me of two commonly heard phrases in my hobbies. The first is ATGAT. Which means all the gear all the time in the motorcycle community. What I would add is the RIGHT gear.
The second is one we've all seen and I can now say is not just a joke.
I'm a beekeeper, if you see me running -try and keep up...
Afternoon humming suddenly became a riotous and high pitch noise of a swarm evacuating the hive, it went up into the air across the orchard and over towards the fields into oblivion,
Evening arrives and it’s pleasant enough so I decide to have a walk to see if I can by any chance locate it’s resting place, sure enough down by the stony lane side I find a few insect movements in the hawthorn hedge, so pushing through nettles and checking a bit closer to my relief there it is, a really good swarm waiting for me to collect, now here’s where it becomes tricky as it’s well embedded within the thorns and leaves, so out comes the full bee suit, skep, smoker and the rest of the tackle needed to get it back.
Process going well , it’s also getting evening and I’m stood in a light coloured bee suit in the dusk just waiting for the last bees to go into the skep when I see some slow movement right down the bottom of the lane, now it’s unusual to see anyone on the lane but as it was such a nice evening this very slow moving delicate looking mobility scooter approaches, now think on, I’ve just finished upsetting the last bees of the evening, and finally now we’re close enough that we can see each other properly and speech begins like, “Oh what are you doing?”, here’s me thinking isn’t it obvious in a bee suit and her in a very slow mobility scooter , so I’m also hoping that no bees would descend on her being too inquisitive, when, before I can answer a single bee appears around her head and circles to investigate.
All 4 wheels start to spin and gravel shoots out, the whole thing lurches forward at warp speed and words sort of come out in a broken manner due to the rough terrain ,words such as “BEES What I Hate BEES “
I’m doubled up looking at this vehicle now literally bouncing along away from me making horrendous crushing noises in the gravel so I I’m trying to say it’s ok and suchlike but I’m laughing at the scene unfolding and struggle to not be giggling hysterically while shouting it’s ok, now by this time the whole thing is bounding from side to side due to the uneven surface and I’m trying to shout to tell her to slow down but the giggles wouldn’t allow me to communicate anything, off into the distance it went disappearing into the sunset leaving me to finish the job totally while wore out from belly laughing so much.
To conclude no harm came to the lady and she also shared a laugh with me later.
My son is six foot four and a great “bee buddy”, even as I was training him. We had a hive working in a field of beans for the farmer. A small but busy road had to be crossed to reach the metal gate to the field. In certain weather conditions this have could be testy. I stood back to allow my son to do the inspection. Suddenly, he let out a yell and ran away from the hive.
I chased him down the field puffing smoke as I feared he had been stung. At the gate, he was shouting that there was a bee in his suit, pointing neck. Doing the only thing possible, I started to jump up and down in order to reach, smacking him on the collar of his bee suit. Whilst doing this, I became aware of cars slowing down, watching with disbelief, the ridiculous spectacle. To this day we talk about. “The big bee keeper and the little bee keeper”. PS. He went home without a sting.