Honey bees in a tree

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10 years 2 weeks ago - 10 years 2 weeks ago #134697 by moss
Honey bees in a tree was created by moss
I was climbing a big pin oak in a woods setting with two friends. One of the climbers was taking a route past a hollow at about 60 ft. where I've found a pair of raccoons sleeping. I told him about it but he went up on the other side of the leader and didn't have a chance to check it out. Later in the climb I went down to the hollow to take a look. From 15' above I could see there were no raccoons inside. I descended to the hollow and put my foot on the lower lip of the opening. I looked at my foot and realized I was standing with my toe on honeycomb and a substantial concentration of bees. For the moment they were going about their business and ignoring me. I withdrew my foot slowly and did a short swing clear of the leader, landed on a second leader and ascended gently about 10 ft. I waited quietly to see what would happen next. Activity increased around the hollow and I could see that scouts were flying circles 5 or 6 feet out from the hive. Good news is that was the end of it. From being around backyard honey bee hives I know that slow movement allows very close proximity to the hive without problems. Africanized honey bees are different, behaving more like yellow jackets. If it was yellow jackets I would have likely been stung multiple times, they have a very short fuse!
-moss
Last edit: 10 years 2 weeks ago by moss.

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10 years 2 weeks ago #134700 by greenluck
Replied by greenluck on topic Re:Honey bees in a tree
That sounds like a close call Moss.

I've seen raccoons sleeping in trees before but not bees, yet.

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10 years 2 weeks ago #134720 by treeman
Replied by treeman on topic Re:Honey bees in a tree
Bald faced hornets act similarly too. If you loose your cool and flap your arms while the hornets crawl over you, you're toast!

I once tried to out run yellow jackets I disturbed in a tree. They were faster than I was. I yelled down to my partner, "run!" He gaped up at me in a neanderthal pose and said "HUH" He found out what run meant when I brought the hive down with me. I looked like a bird trying to fly, I was flapping my arms so much.

My biggest nervy achievement was to wait out a bald faced hornet crawl after I disturbed a nest. I stood real still and watched them crawl all over me. I was in a magnolia tree with big fat leaves. I could barely see the hive hanging. These insects pack a real hard punch, but they are very gentle too, I've been told.

Waving from a treetop,
Peter Treeman Jenkins

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10 years 1 week ago #134728 by 2chops
Replied by 2chops on topic Re:Honey bees in a tree
I had to remove a white faced hornets nest one time because it was hanging right in the middle of an access road we were using. Long story short I got bit 5 times in the head... while trying to jump into the back of a moving truck... while running up hill. AAAAAAGGGGHHHH! Standing still was not an option. They were mad as a, well, a hornet.
I have also come across a 'coon napping in a tree. Moved right along and let it be. No point in getting him all riled up. They're nasty.

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10 years 1 week ago #134730 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Re:Honey bees in a tree
treeman wrote:

My biggest nervy achievement was to wait out a bald faced hornet crawl after I disturbed a nest. I stood real still and watched them crawl all over me. I was in a magnolia tree with big fat leaves. I could barely see the hive hanging. These insects pack a real hard punch, but they are very gentle too, I've been told.


I had a much less threatening version of that climbing west coast woods. I was sitting at about 100ft. working on advancing the rope when I became covered with small ants. A dead conifer was leaning against the tree I was climbing. A column of ants was marching up the entire length of the dead leaner to access the live tree. The top of the leaner intersected the live tree right where I was hanging. Ants crawled on my head under my helmet, on my face, inside my shirt etc. They were biting me but were so small that the effect was insignificant. I could see different sized ants, the ordinary workers and the soldiers, bigger yet still very small. The soldiers were posturing on a limb in front of my eyes, raising their abdomens perhaps to look more intimidating. Interesting experience.
-moss

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