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    Plutonium Lounger
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    This link is labeled "politics" but only because it happened at our White House.

    This bee keeping stuff is something I've never understood, not only the "how" but the "WHY" as well! I need to do a little Googling on this one because I don't know how this guy was able to spot and catch the queen bee among what's called a swarm of bees!

    White House hit by swarm of bees

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    [quote name='Bigaldoc' post='769960' date='10-Apr-2009 07:13']This link is labeled "politics" but only because it happened at our White House.
    This bee keeping stuff is something I've never understood, not only the "how" but the "WHY" as well! I need to do a little Googling on this one because I don't know how this guy was able to spot and catch the queen bee among what's called a swarm of bees!
    White House hit by swarm of bees[/quote]
    Hi Al
    I had bee hives for a few years. When a swarm breaks off from the established hive, they'll hunt for new digs else where. They are very passive while they are without a home. It is unclear from the story what this bee keeper did to collect the bees. I had the good fortune to gather a swarm by using one of my boxes with comb honey inside to entice the group to enter the box. I took the box <bottom, frame, top, comb honey inside> to the swarm during early evening and left it until the following day. Generally, the bees will enter - queen included - because they are hungry and they want to establish a new home. Next day generally, it is a matter of sealing off the entrance, load them into transport and move them to wherever you want the hive to be. It is a great way to get a new hive without the cost of buying bees which are expensive to acquire now. BTW, the queen is a lot bigger than the workers and to the trained eye, she is easy to spot.


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    Further to Sandy's answer, from Wikipedia:

    The queen bee's abdomen is noticeably longer than the worker honeybees surrounding her. Even so, in a hive of 60,000 to 80,000 honeybees, it is often difficult for beekeepers to find the queen with any speed; for this reason, many queens in non-feral colonies are marked with a light daub of paint on their thorax. The paint used does no harm to the queen and makes her much easier to find when necessary.
    Jerry

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    Hi Skitter
    Back in the late 1800s and early 1900s my dad and his father were bee keepers. I vaguely remember Dad telling me that when a swarm broke off from a hive, frequently the queen and majority of workers would cluster on a tree or bush bough while some of the workers hunted for a suitable hive. According to Dad, the keeper would cut the bough then carry it and the swarm to a new hive; then let nature take its course.
    Regards
    Don

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    [quote name='wdwells' post='769980' date='10-Apr-2009 10:47']Hi Skitter
    Back in the late 1800s and early 1900s my dad and his father were bee keepers. I vaguely remember Dad telling me that when a swarm broke off from a hive, frequently the queen and majority of workers would cluster on a tree or bush bough while some of the workers hunted for a suitable hive. According to Dad, the keeper would cut the bough then carry it and the swarm to a new hive; then let nature take its course.[/quote]
    There are probably many techniques for collecting bees. For me, the simplest way was to carry a "starter hive" to the new swarm and let them enter and begin housekeeping. The honey in the comb is the draw since they can detect it! I like honey bees. Many people attribute aggression with bees but generally it isn't the honey bee that is an aggressor, it is usually a yellow jacket/hornet, etc. Honey bees are fairly calm individuals and if left alone, can live happily next to a community of people.


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    Plutonium Lounger
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    [quote name='skitterbug' post='769994' date='10-Apr-2009 12:50']... people attribute aggression with bees but generally it isn't the honey bee that is an aggressor, it is usually a yellow jacket/hornet ...[/quote]
    Well, once again you've taught me something I didn't know and I thank you! I've always thought the "names" were interchangeable and didn't realize until now that we're dealing with different insects. Now I know that, SEVERAL years ago in late summer when cutting my grass, I cut over a hole in the ground that was evidently a yellow jacket nest and I was attacked - badly. I thought about going to the doctor but managed to fight through it on my own.

    I saw this just now: Is it a Yellowjacket or Honey Bee? (a PDF file)

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    [quote name='Bigaldoc' post='770013' date='10-Apr-2009 14:56']Well, once again you've taught me something I didn't know and I thank you! I've always thought the "names" were interchangeable and didn't realize until now that we're dealing with different insects. Now I know that, SEVERAL years ago in late summer when cutting my grass, I cut over a hole in the ground that was evidently a yellow jacket nest and I was attacked - badly. I thought about going to the doctor but managed to fight through it on my own.

    I saw this just now: Is it a Yellowjacket or Honey Bee? (a PDF file)[/quote]
    I'm glad I have helped!
    Another "bee" that likes to nest in the ground is a bumblebee. There are all sorts of them. My father was mowing some ground around his farm pond using a "bush hog" powered by his little Ford tractor. He ran over a nest of these things and instantly made them all mad at him. There were a few new names applied to those insects by the time my dad made it back to the house. He didn't go to the doctor either but he probably should have. It is risky trying to deal with the venom these insects can impart. If you are allergic to them, the venom can be deadly! I'm glad very glad you recovered!


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    [quote name='Bigaldoc' post='770013' date='11-Apr-2009 06:56']Well, once again you've taught me something I didn't know and I thank you! I've always thought the "names" were interchangeable and didn't realize until now that we're dealing with different insects. Now I know that, SEVERAL years ago in late summer when cutting my grass, I cut over a hole in the ground that was evidently a yellow jacket nest and I was attacked - badly. I thought about going to the doctor but managed to fight through it on my own.

    I saw this just now: Is it a Yellowjacket or Honey Bee? (a PDF file)[/quote]Your description sounded to me like the insect we call the European wasp. I'm not sure from my brief research if they are the same. It appears that the American native yellowjacket has been largely usurped by the European variety which is much more aggressive. This may be the same species as the European wasp is Australia. From the descriptions, it does appear very similar at least.
    Subway Belconnen- home of the Signboard to make you smile. Get (almost) daily updates- follow SubwayBelconnen on Twitter.

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    [quote name='Bigaldoc' post='769960' date='10-Apr-2009 12:13']I don't know how this guy was able to spot and catch the queen bee among what's called a swarm of bees![/url][/quote]
    Easy - all the other bees call her "Ma'am"!
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

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    [quote name='skitterbug' post='770046' date='10-Apr-2009 18:39']... My father was mowing some ground around his farm pond ...[/quote]
    Oh boy, memories! Back in the late 60s when Billie and I first "settled" in this area, I got to operate a bush hog on my brother-in-law's farm nearby. I remember him cautioning me about the danger of stings, etc. But I did it anyway. I had some (dairy) farm experience from my youth on Long Island.

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