X

Turkish Beekeeper Enlists Thieving Bears as Honey Testers

İbrahim Sedef, an experienced beekeeper from Turkey’s Black Sea Region, has come up with an ingenious way of having his honey tested by the same bears that used to steal it.

Agricultural engineer and beekeeper İbrahim Sedef had been struggling to deal with thieving bears for over four months, but nothing worked. When he tried covering his precious beehives with steel cages, the bears toppled to get to the precious honey, when he reinforced the cages with a cement base, they just dug in the ground and toppled them again. Even raising the hives higher up didn’t help as the bears just climbed up to reach them. So earlier this month, Sedef decided to stop looking for solutions and at least use the bears’ appetite for honey to his advantage.

Read More »

Family Discover Colony of 80,000 Bees Living in Their Bedroom Wall

A family in Granada, Spain was shocked to discover that the constant buzzing coming from behind their bedroom wall turned out to be a massive bee colony numbering over 80,000 honey bees.

Spanish social media has been buzzing with the news of a couple in Pinos Puente, Granada, who recently asked a local beekeeper to investigate the increasingly loud buzz sound coming from behind their bedroom wall. They had been hearing it for a while and had long come to the conclusion that it must be caused by bees, but it wasn’t until the buzzing got so loud that they couldn’t sleep at night that they decided to get professional help. Beekeeper Sergio Guerrero had helped remove bee colonies from their properties before, but what he found behind the wall of this particular house left him speechless – a hive of over 80,000 bees and honey combs over a meter long.

Read More »

Giant Honeybees Use Shimmering “Mexican Waves” to Repel Invaders

The giant honeybees of East Asia can build impressive open nests measuring a few meters across. The fact that they are always exposed makes them vulnerable to predators, particularly large wasps and hornets that love nothing more than invading hives and stealing grubs. Luckily, the bees have a secret weapon that is as visually mesmerizing as it is effective.

Called shimmering, the unique defensive strategy of giant honeybees involves large numbers of workers raising their rear-ends by ninety degrees and shaking them in unison, creating an effect similar to the well-known Mexican waves seen at stadiums across the world. How hundreds of bees are capable of communicating and producing this highly coordinated response to threats remains unknown, but after 15 years of studying the behavior in the wild, scientists are now convinced that shimmering is a defense mechanism.

Read More »

Couple Keep 10,000 Pet Bees in High-Rise Apartment

For over a year a couple angered their neighbors by keeping around 10,000 bees in the balcony of their high-rise apartment in the Chinese city of Ningbo.

Police were recently called to a residential building in the coastal city of Ningbo after a couple living there ignored numerous complaints from their neighbors about the thousands of pet bees they kept on their balcony. About a year ago, the unnamed couple installed a small beehive in their high-rise apartment with the intention of using them for “bee sting treatment”, a form of alternative medicine believed to help alleviate the symptoms of painful conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. However, the insects kept breeding and their number swelled to around 10,000, becoming a nuisance to the other residents.

Read More »

Man Drives 40 Miles with 3,000 Bees Loose in His Truck, Doesn’t Get Stung Once

Wallace Leatherwood , a beekeeper from North Carolina, went through what most people would consider a living nightmare and came out unscathed. He drove 40 miles with thousands of bees loose in the cabin of his truck, and didn’t get a single sting.

Last Tuesday, Leatherwood bought about 18,000 bees from Wild Mountain Bees in Weaverville, and put them in the back of his truck. But before driving back home to Waynesville, he went to look at a job and then stopped at a local diner to get some lunch. Because he didn’t have anywhere shady to put the bees, he grabbed three of the boxes from the bed of his truck and moved them into the cabin. Only Wallace didn’t notice that one of them wasn’t as securely closed as he had thought, so when he came back from the restaurant, he found the cabin crawling with around 3,000 bees.

Read More »

English Beekeeper Uses the Sound of His Bee Colonies to Make Electronic Music

British beekeeper and musician Bioni (pronounced BEE-own-ee) Samp has found an incredible way to combine his two greatest passions. He records the frequencies of his bees and uses them to create original electronic musical compositions.

Bioni – a pseudonym, as his real name is a closely guarded secret – produces abstract music that is rhythmic and dancey, but the 50-something Londoner has a higher goal than making people get jiggy with it on the dance floor. He uses his unusual music to raise awareness about colony collapse disorder (CDC), a plague that has wiped out millions of honeybee hives globally since 2006. Billions of bees are killed by CDC every year, and that’s not counting the ones that dies as result of climate change and pesticide poisoning. he feels that by using bees as a musical instrument he can get through to people easier than by preaching to them about the plight of bees and the dangers their extinction poses to humanity.

Read More »

Chinese Family Has Been Living with an Open Beehive in Their Living Room for 12 Years

The sight of a single bee buzzing around is enough to drive some people into a frenzy, but one family in China has somehow been living with an entire beehive in their living room for 12 years. They even collect the honey from it and sell it for a small profit.

Remember the BEEcosystem, that observational beehive that lets you keep bees inside your home as pets? Well, it turns out you don’t need it. You can just let bees build their own beehive on your furniture and let them fly around freely. It sounds crazy, but one family in China is proof that it can be done, and not just for a few days or weeks, but over a decade.

Read More »

Car Chased by 20,000 Bees for Two Days After Hive Queen Gets Stuck in Trunk

A woman in the UK was left baffled by a swarm of about 20,000 bees that latched onto the back of her car and refused to budge for over 28 hours. The mystery was eventually solved when she discovered that they were actually following their queen, which had gotten stuck in the trunk of the car!

It all started last Sunday, when Carol Howarth, 65, parked her silver Mitsubishi Outlander in the town center at Haverfordwest, in Pembrokeshire, Wales, during a shopping trip. While she was away, thousands of bees began to gather around the car, much to the amazement of passersby. A rescue squad of three beekeepers and a national park ranger were called in to capture the bees in a special box and by the time Carol returned to the car, the situation was under control.

She was thankful for their help, but her tryst with the bees was far from over. Little did she know that as she drove back home, the rest of the swarm was following her . “The next day I realised that some of the bees had followed me home,” she said. “There were a lot less than the first swarm.” So she called the beekeepers once again and they arrived at her home on Monday evening.

bee-swarm Read More »

Africa’s Honey Fences – Using Beehives to Keep Elephants at Bay

Thanks to zoologist Dr Lucy King, farmers in rural Africa no longer need to worry about elephants wrecking their fields. Through ‘The Elephants and Bees Project’, she introduced the concept of honey fences – a low cost, organic solution that employs beehives suspended several meters apart to keep pachyderms away. The fences are essentially gifts that keep on giving, because the farmers are also able to make an additional income from the honey.

King first hit upon the idea after she read that elephants actually avoid acacia trees – their favorite food – if they spot a beehive in the branches. She then spent several years conducting behavioral experiments, like filming elephants reacting to the sound of bees buzzing played through a loudspeaker. Using the data she gathered, she began to develop the honey fence system – she suspended a series of hives at ten-meter intervals from a single wire, threaded around wooden fence posts. To get into the field an elephant would have to touch either the wire or the hive, disturbing the bees and causing them to swarm out in buzzing cloud.

honey-fences-Africa Read More »

Artist Manipulates the Movement of Bees to Create Accurate Wax Maps

Chinese artist Ren Ri successfully combines his love of beekeeping and art to create accurate honeycomb maps of various countries and continents.

Ren works closely with honeybees; in fact, he considers himself more of a beekeeper than a professional artist. He started beekeeping in 2007, and within a year, he mastered the basics. As he got more proficient, he began to think of ways in which he could manipulate the bees’ movements, by controlling the queen bee. Over time, he started creating meaningful beeswax patterns, and he eventually managed to produce a world map.

To create the map, Ren placed a map of the world inside the beehive. He then manipulated the queen bee to move in different directions and angles, so that the bees would build the hive at the locations he desired. “The bees continued to mould the beehive, and this moulding affected the original shape I had given the piece, through a process of addition and subtraction,” he said. Once the world map was ready, Ren created individual maps of several countries as well. He called the series Yuan Su I: The Origin of Geometry.

Ren-Ri-bees

Read More »

Daredevils Compete in Annual Bee-Wearing Competition

Two brave Chinese beekeepers competed in the annual bee-wearing contest, yesterday, trying to attract as many bees on their bodies, in just 60 minutes.

42-year-old Wang Dalin and 20-year-old Lc Kongjiang were the only contestants registered for the event that took place in Shaoyang City, China. Wearing only shorts, goggles and nose plugs, the two bee enthusiasts competed by each standing on a scale and using queen bees to attract as many regular buzzers on their bodies, in one hour. The queen bees were locked in small cages and tied around their bodies, and it was only a matter of time until the swarming bees picked up their scent and formed living suits around the competitors.

In the end, Wang Dalin won the bee-wearing competition, by attracting 26 kilograms of bees onto his body, while his younger fellow beekeeper only manged to attract 22.9 kilograms of live bees. Despite their valiant efforts, the two weren’t able to break the world bee-wearing record, of 39.5 kg (350,000 bees), set by American Mark Biancaniello.

Read More »

Bee Beard Competition 2010 – A Truly Stinging Contest

Bee beards have been around since the 1700s and up until a hundred years ago, honey vendors used them to attract customers, but now these organic disguises have their very own competition. Ever year, the world’s bravest apiarists gather in Aylmer, Ontario for the Clovermead Bees & Honey, Bee Beard Competition.

It’s not exactly the kind of contest people are dying to get into, for obvious reasons, but there are those who enjoy having tens of thousands of honey bees around their necks, or even covering their faces. The object of the Bee Beard Competition is to get as many bees on your body as possible. Contenders are weighed before and after they are covered in bees, and the heaviest one wins.

 

Read More »