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A swarm of local Italian Honeybees. When actively transporting the queen, the swarm is quite hostile. When they have set up a temporary base like this, the queen is secure within the hoard, and they are completely docile

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Comment by coyote on March 30, 2010 at 3:17pm
Some africanized bees lived in the walls of some old houses my dad owns. Any time we needed to do maintenance on the houses, they would chase us away, one time they chased us down the street in the truck. I haven't stopped by to check on them lately. I seem to have fallen out of my wandering phase. They aren't too far away, so they're probably tame too. Africanized swarms will go into weak hives and kill their queen and just take over the hive and it's workers. My dad used to get stung by the ones next door all the time, but I was digging ditches around the fruit trees for watering, while they were in bloom. All the bees coming for the blossoms didn't mind me.
Comment by coyote on March 30, 2010 at 3:11pm
Well, they were mean because, in the jungles they were native to, there were a lot of animals they had to defend against. Either the European honeybee queens somehow dominated the african queens or the african queens just adapted to the lack of invaders in the area. You can take any wild swarm you catch and buy a queen of your choice for it, since bees are ruled by pheromones and such. You just kill the old queen and drop a new one into the hive. The purpose of the african bees originally were to tame them and use them for producing honey in tropical areas, and in Brazil they are still using african bees to this day.
Comment by Little Name Atheist on March 30, 2010 at 1:03pm
I have thought about having a hive or two since we have room for them, but I'm allergic to bee stings. I'll have to do research on whether or not I can use an EpiPen from time to time, and what the long term effects would be.

I love honey, too. We have a duck recipe that calls for lavender honey... I love eating the rest on toast. We get a lot of blueberry honey in Vermont and Maine.

I don't think I'll be following your suggestions about relocating a swarm until I figure out if I can actually keep bees.

That's interesting to know that bees started getting tamer and tamer. I remember when the killer bees were considered a growing menace. Haven't heard anything about them in a long time.
Comment by coyote on March 29, 2010 at 6:03pm
Bees here were very mean after the killer bee outbreaks, but up to present day they've gotten tamer and tamer. Such a complex organism seems to evolve very quickly. My dad always wants to kill the ones in the abandoned house next door because they sting him when he mows weeds over there. I can usually convince him to let them swarm before he sprays them.
Comment by coyote on March 29, 2010 at 5:40pm
Well, I like honey. I totally would work with bees if I had a hive. The bees swarm all the time, and I often find these. If you have a hive, and you find a swarm, pretty much just spray sugar water on em and knock em into a bucket, which you then pour into the hive. One time we burned a rotting wooden camper-shelf that was a previous home of bees, the fire was a total blaze from all the wax.
Comment by Little Name Atheist on March 28, 2010 at 5:25am
Do you work with bees?

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