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May 26, 2012


Your fortunate you don't have Afracanized Honeybees in Oregon-I heard 90% of bees are Afro-American now in Orange County, CA

That looks like a typical bee swarm to me.

As I understand it, most north american bees even as far north as Oregon are now africanized "killer bees". My son disagrees and says many bees are not africanized and are just good old regular bees. Since he knows everything about everything at his current stage in life, who am I to disagree with him?

Anyway, bee swarms can be dangerous if you set them off. In Arizona they will pursue up to about a half mile and sting the living crap out of you the whole way. I know because a few years ago I was in some trees and thought some flies were landing on me. I swatted at them and then felt some stinging through my cap. At that point I realized I was in the middle of a bee swarm and took off sprinting like a wide receiver (a slow one) to my car with the bees in hot pursuit. In the process I pulled a hamstring, but I hobbled to the shelter of the car with only a few stings on my head. This was actually a good thing (not the hamstring pull) because bee stings boost your immune sytem. Look it up. It is actually good to get a bee sting once a year or so and some people get one on purpose. Just go to your friendly neighborhood Bees R Us franchise. Obviously this is not a good idea if you are allergic. The problem is you never know when you will become allergic.

I never am concerned about bees just cruising around gathering pollen, but watch out for swarms. Keep your distance so you don't piss the little buggers off.

This reminds me of all the times my mom used to load us kids in the pickup with a big cardboard box, a broom and a branch clipper on the hunt for a swarm. Our phone number was on file at the Sheriff's Dept and they would call when someone would report a swarm. Mom would head over there, cut the branch, plop the bees into a box, tape it up and bring it home and fill a new hive. If it hangs around, you might call your local sheriff and see if any bee keepers might want them.

Tucson's wrong about Afro-American bees now beeing as far north as Oregon-they don't tolerate cold weather well. Just Google Africanized bee spread by county to see their current range.

When you spot a bee swarm you should call your local bee keepers club and find out who the swarm catchers are. That swarm is worth a hundred bucks. I would gladly have taken a crack at it if I were close. No Africanized bees up here. Honey bee swarms are very mellow cuz they load up on honey before they swarm. Here's a remarkable video of a guy handling a swarm barehanded.

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