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   xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Nov 12 12:28 AM

November 12, 2008: Beez

I got this email from Leah, but I don't know if it originated with her. It didn't say 'forward' but the writing, which I've edited for clarity, didn't look like hers.

So I'm using my bbq this weekend... so I thought ill clean it up..
I have know there are bee's coming from under the cover so I thought I’d kill them, obviously... so heres the bbq in question.

Now I know these bombs aren't for bee's and that but I thought I’ll suffocate/smoke them out. So here is the weapon of choice and delivery system.

I thought I was pretty smart hehehe designed to be easierly manovered under the cover of darkness... so then I released the weapon of buzz destruction.
OMFG! the sound from under the cover was incredible!!! You could hear it 3m away easy... then I ran like the clappers.

Coming back few mins later to see the death toll was at least 20mm deep, a mass grave.

I continued to remove the cover and to light the bbq to give it a clean, when I noticed some fatty looking substance on the top of the side shelf thing.
Bit weird.. I clean it before I put it away for winter and no way was there fat there so I begun to wonder...... NO..... it can't be could it?
I slowly removed the rest of the cover only to find the HQ.
We think the queen flew away.... either that or a small child has wings and has been living in the hive coz that thing was huge!

I wonder how long it took to build those combs?
I suppose after using a Flea & Roach bomb, you shouldn't chocolate dip the bees, or eat the honey.

Juniper  Wednesday Nov 12 12:35 AM

Somewhere nearby a beekeeper is wondering what happened to his beloved hive.

Maybe you couldn't eat the honey, but I'd sure make use of all that lovely beeswax!

Poor bees.

classicman  Wednesday Nov 12 12:48 AM

That's incredible - when was the last time the grill was used?

Aliantha  Wednesday Nov 12 01:19 AM

Bees usually swam when the old hive gets too small, that is, after a good season with few casualties and lots of pollen and nectar. The workers create a new queen bee for the old hive, and the old queen flies off with the swarm after the workers have located a good spot.

It's amazing how quickly they can establish a good hive if the conditions are favourable. I would imagine a BBQ under cover must be 'good conditions' for bees. lol

SquidGirl  Wednesday Nov 12 01:22 AM

I just keep staring at the pictures in amazement...and I have a sudden urge to toast some bread. I'm also slightly terrified to uncover my grill now, too.

Tawnyscrawnylions@ya  Wednesday Nov 12 03:22 AM

Permaculture is the way to take care of it. Check it out. take care of the earth and the earth will take care of you.

Griff  Wednesday Nov 12 06:30 AM

What an unbelievably stupid act.

ZenGum  Wednesday Nov 12 08:01 AM

Hello Tawnyscrawnylion and

to the cellar.

Probably there was a beekeeper nearby who would have gladly come and taken that hive. Still, it might be handy to know ... roach bombs work on bees. And bee's. :p

footfootfoot  Wednesday Nov 12 08:06 AM

Originally Posted by Griff View Post
What an unbelievably stupid act.
Ditto. Easily available pesticides are not the best idea for anyone except the people making and selling the stuff.

Pie  Wednesday Nov 12 08:34 AM

Would you want to use "roach bomb" on a cooking surface, nevermind the senseless killing of the bees?

sweetwater  Wednesday Nov 12 09:02 AM

It's terrible that a hive was killed, but I get the impression that the storyteller was unaware that it was a hive, and not just some bees hanging around under the cover. I would have just taken the cover off and let the bees scatter back home, so finding the combs would have been exciting to say the least.

classicman  Wednesday Nov 12 09:06 AM

I thought the same thing sweet, but then what? You have 10,000 bees swarming all over your deck. Not that I'm condoning the killing of them, but I have no idea what the hell I'd do in that situation.

Then again, That grill must have been hummin like a Harley on the highway.

sweetwater  Wednesday Nov 12 09:22 AM

Yes, classic, I would have been mistaken thinking that it was just a few bees, so would have yanked the cover off the grill, had a fraction of a second to think "uh-oh", then been swarmed and stung to death by angry bees. Then the grill hive would be somebody else's problem. And also removing my puffed-up carcass from the deck.

classicman  Wednesday Nov 12 09:48 AM

lol - thats the mental picture I had too - lol. My kids watching from inside as dad is running faster than a bullet while being chased by a million angry bees!

Sundae  Wednesday Nov 12 10:04 AM

While it seems sad, I can't see that the poster did anything wrong given the information they had. They did not set out to destroy a hive after all.

We had a wasp's nest in our eaves when I lived in an old cottage. We thought it strange that there were so many around, until early one summer evening when we had the door open and observed them coming and going. Until then, we'd shooed them away, not being into unnecessary death.

Once we realised there was a nest we had to call the council, who sent a man to kill them all. That was a deliberate act of insect genocide, and I'll hold my hands up to it. Making me far more contemptible than the poster.

ETA - fascinating IoTD Bruce!

glatt  Wednesday Nov 12 10:12 AM

Reminds me of this old favorite. Matthias Wandel's wasp sucking machine.

Pie  Wednesday Nov 12 11:25 AM

I'm still not getting the idea of using toxic pesticides ON A COOKING SURFACE!
Would you spray your pots and pans down with Raid? A little rat poison on your bruschetta?
You can't scrub down every surface of a grill; lava rocks hold on to whatever has landed on them forever.

spudcon  Wednesday Nov 12 01:43 PM

Perhaps bee stings are fatal to the poster. I have a friend whose grill gets infested by wasps every year. She just turns on the gas and ignites it. It's not genocide, it's killing pests that are harmful to her home family and her pets. Buncha pain in the ass bugs anyway.

Aliantha  Wednesday Nov 12 03:26 PM

If he'd taken the cover off, the bees would have first become very aggravated and would have attacked. It would have been an invasion of their home. After the initial shock, the bees might have moved on, but more than likely the wouldn't move too far because for starters, they need emergency housing, so anywhere dry and out of the wind is going to be good. The cavities in the walls etc make a good spot, and a lot more troublesome than a BBQ to remove. That said, I agree that calling a bee keeper would have been the smart thing to do rather than poisoning them.

Shawnee123  Wednesday Nov 12 03:55 PM

The author was calling them wasps, then yellow jackets. I'm not up on my bee categories, but aren't wasps, and even yellow jackets completely different than happy little (really necessary to the earth) honey bees?

Having said that, I have a little wasp nest between my screen and window in my bathroom. I let them go in and out all summer. What do they do in the winter? Can I safely get them out? What should I do with them? That nest grew a lot over the summer, it is no longer the cute little "I'll just leave them be" nest that it started out to be.

Clodfobble  Wednesday Nov 12 04:17 PM

Bees are useful to the ecosystem. They are not aggressive unless provoked. Wasps (aka hornets, aka yellowjackets,) on the other hand, are demon spawn and need to be killed on sight every time.

Don't believe me?

Aliantha  Wednesday Nov 12 04:35 PM

I always kill wasp nests completely. Burn then smash. Those suckers are nasty and can do a lot of damage to small children if they get stuck about it. Especially paper wasps. I don't know if you have them over there, but they're very aggressive and the sting hurts like a bastard.

glatt  Wednesday Nov 12 04:39 PM

Yeah, but you've got to admit the paper wasp nests are really cool looking.

Aliantha  Wednesday Nov 12 04:43 PM

Oh for sure, but that doesn't mean I'm going to leave them there for a new lot to move into...which they do. Bastard creatures.

SPUCK  Wednesday Nov 12 06:08 PM

Very sad.. Bees are under extreme pressure that's not even understood. To kill a hive like that is really poor judgment.

For the poster to recognize enough bees are under there, where there would be no other point than to 'nest', and to feel there were enough to require building that weapon, shows serious ignorance. Maybe she should actually watch TV once in a while...

All she had to do was call ANY honey or bee keeper and that hive would be promptly and carefully removed for her.

Stupid. :

If bees were to decline the only thing left of a hamburger, I'm told, would be the bun, as bees are responsible for everything else.

Sarasvati48  Wednesday Nov 12 07:57 PM

How incredibly stupid. What, not enough bees are dead right now? I knew something was afoot when at the end of the summer of 2006 there were dozens of dead bees on my back patio. At first I thought they were the victims of some idiot like this person, but soon started hearing news reports of disappearing bees. They are an important part of the ecosystem, and this jackass kills them instead of calling a bee keeper. What a jackass...

Diaphone Jim  Wednesday Nov 12 08:11 PM

I have to go with SPUCK and Saravati.
Unless there are family members with known bee allergies or the bees are Africanized and aggressive, killing them is foolish and sad.
Paper Wasps, Yellowjackets and Hornets with nests in close proximity to human activity may need removal, but overall the kneejerk, pressurized poison reaction to BUGS is to be lamented.
BTW, that form of natural comb building is more and more used in the industry.

JLrep  Wednesday Nov 12 08:24 PM

Really, he should've one-upped the bees by offering them his house, as well.

monster  Wednesday Nov 12 09:44 PM

I find lamentably few people can distinguish between bees, wasps, and yellowjackets, and call them all bees. If this is true for the IOTD provider, I can understand their "need" to kill them.. But I don't take pictures when I'm dealing with a wasp nest. do you? something's fishy there.

Gravdigr  Wednesday Nov 12 10:20 PM

Originally Posted by Griff View Post
What an unbelievably stupid act.
Originally Posted by footfootfoot View Post
Ditto. Easily available pesticides are not the best idea for anyone except the people making and selling the stuff.
I hate bees. I'm allergic to their sting. Fuck 'em. Kill 'em all & let their mommies sort 'em out. (Ditto on all counts for wasps, hornets, & anything else that stings.)

P.S. That's one big ass-load of bees...maybe you should use/check your grill a little more often?

Bonifacio  Wednesday Nov 12 10:26 PM


Originally Posted by Griff View Post
What an unbelievably stupid act.
I agree.

Clearly the poster has not paid attention to the news that has been available in the past year or more that bees are dying off at alarming rates. The loss of a hive is a serious loss. Even if he/she wasn't sure what was under that cover, it would have been a good idea to call the local county exension office and get some advice on how to safely check it out. They'll even come move a hive of bees if reported.

xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Nov 12 11:36 PM

I don't think they have county extension agents... I don't know if they even have counties in Australia.

Welcome to the Cellar, Bonifacio, Tawnyscrawnylions@ya & JLrep.

I think this is the act of an average, suburban living person, that knows bees (of any stripe) are insects, sting, and are a threat to happy BBQs. I doubt he/she knows much about the bee's, or any insect's, role in nature, only that they are a potential threat to his/her comfort.
I don't approve, but I understand.

A friend of mine got tired of being attacked by Yellow Jackets every time he mowed the lawn. He poured water down their hidey hole, but they kept buzzing. So he poured gasoline down their hidey hole, but they kept buzzing. So he lit it... yup, a 5 foot deep crater in the lawn. His wife yelled at him for that, but he didn't hear her... or much else, for a week.

If for some reason I decided to ambush a hidden nest, and subsequently discovered those combs, I'd sure as hell take pictures.

Aliantha  Thursday Nov 13 01:15 AM

Nope, no counties in Australia. I suppose you could say our federal electorates would be the equivalent (sort of) but there's no separate jurisdiction for law enforcement etc. Just state or federal. We have regional areas that'd probably maybe fit the description of a county I suppose, but even then I think not really.

ZenGum  Thursday Nov 13 06:55 AM

Our local councils are similar in size to your counties, but are responsible for a great deal less.

On the negative side, this was very mid-twentieth century behaviour ... scary bad nature, kill it with clean pure chemicals! on the positive side, they used duct tape! and it worked!
And for those saying "unbelievably stupid act", I think you merely lack imagination. Unbelievably stupid is where some half-drunk fool gets a stick and whacks the BBQ cover a few times to see what happens, then lifts up the cover to see what all the buzzing is. At least this person went inside when they realised there were lots of angry bees. Not the wisest person in the world, but there are many who are much dumber.

chrisinhouston  Thursday Nov 13 02:30 PM

These wasps are called “Tarantula Hawks” because they kill tarantulas and bury them for their young to feed on. They are arguably the largest wasps. This is a pretty big one with a 6.75 inch legspan.

Shawnee123  Thursday Nov 13 02:36 PM

Jebus H...

Sundae  Thursday Nov 13 02:39 PM

At least now I know I'm right not to get hysterical over English wasps.
On the flip side - I'm probably not coming to America after all.

Shawnee123  Thursday Nov 13 03:35 PM

That there's a Texas wasp...everything's bigger in Texas!

classicman  Thursday Nov 13 03:47 PM

from here

Body lengths measures up to two inches
Pepsis is a New World genus, with species occurring from Argentina northward to Logan, Utah. Over 250 species are found in South America. Fifteen occur in the United States, with at least nine occurring in the deserts. Tarantula hawks occur wherever tarantulas are found.
A female wasp finds a tarantula by smell. Generally, she scampers across the ground to locate a burrow. She will enter the burrow and expel the spider, then attack it. She may also encounter a male tarantula during his search for a mate. In an attack, the wasp uses her antennae to probe the spider, which may raise its front legs and bare its fangs. (A tarantula does not always counterattack.) She then attempts to sting the spider. She might seize the spider by a leg, flip it over on its back and sting it, or she may approach from the side to deliver a sting. Once stung, the tarantula becomes paralyzed within seconds. The condition will last for the remainder of its life. The wasp may drink the body fluids oozing from the spider’s wounds or from its mouth to replenish nutrients and water she used during the attack.

If the wasp expelled her victim, she will drag it back into its own burrow, now a burial vault, lay a single egg on the spider’s abdomen, then seal the chamber. If the wasp succeeds in stinging a male tarantula on a mating hunt, she will excavate a burrow, drag the paralyzed spider inside, lay her single egg, and seal the chamber.
Once the egg hatches, the tiny grub, initially connected to the spider by the tip of its tail, bends over, attaches its head and begins to suck. It continues sucking until its final moult. It then rips open the spider's abdomen, thrusts its head and part of the thorax inside, and "feeds ravenously," as one entomologist described it. As one might hope, even for a spider, the tarantula at this point is finally dead.

Male tarantula wasps also lead an intriguing life. They engage in a behavior called "hill-topping," where they perch on taller vegetation or high points. They are strongly territorial at these sites because of the good view of the surroundings and in particular, of newly emerged virgin females, which may be receptive to mating. Once again we see that males of another species act quite like males of our own species; think of males posted up at a bar keeping an eye on the door.

Shawnee123  Thursday Nov 13 04:10 PM

I don't believe that for a second.

busterb  Thursday Nov 13 06:10 PM

! How often does he use his pit??? Bees don't do that overnite. I'd be afraid of eating the honey. Yellowjackets mostly build in ground.

Pie  Thursday Nov 13 06:38 PM

Originally Posted by classicman View Post
from here
Lovely stuff, classic. Sweet dreams!

Cloud  Thursday Nov 13 09:21 PM

it's a shame, really. but, hindsight, ya know?

monster  Thursday Nov 13 11:33 PM

Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
If for some reason I decided to ambush a hidden nest, and subsequently discovered those combs, I'd sure as hell take pictures.
yebbut, they have pics "before" discovery (allegedly)

xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Nov 13 11:59 PM

So you go back and take pictures to show the events leading up to the discovery of the combs, to tell the whole story.

Madman  Friday Nov 21 03:30 PM

Pretty awesome. A friend emailed this to me just the other day.

google BBQ Bees

lawman  Tuesday Dec 2 03:46 PM

a friend of mine is a bee keeper, I sent the link and asked her opinion and this is what I received:

"I would guess this picture may have had approximately 15000 to 20000 honeybees (one large hive in the summertime will have approximately 70000 bees - I currently only have two hives). If this picture was taken on Vancouver Island.... I may have put on a veil and dropped them into a bee box. I often don't even use gloves or a veil with my own bees, bare hands work best. Our local honeybees are so docile that you can put your hand right into the middle of their hive without them stinging you. That being said I have been stung a few times, mostly by hurrying and being careless - such as squishing one by accident. It is a weird sensation with them crawling on your hands and fanning (flapping their wings really fast). It is probably many people's first reaction to kill them - and if it had been wasps or hornets I may have considered to do the same (I prefer fire and water - I won't touch pesticides or herbicides). If this picture was taken in Africa where bees are a bit more aggressive I would have probably used full gear to try to hive them. A hive like that may have fetched that guy about $100.00 and that would be calling in a beekeeper to come and get them - probably would have bought him some really nice meat for that BBQ. Honestly, I have yet to hive a swarm like that - I would love the opportunity to try. Not to mention - that guy missed out on some amazing honey....."

and I would NEVER eat anything cooked on that BBQ after this event!

xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Dec 3 01:19 AM

I'm pretty sure it's Australia, lawman.

Aliantha  Wednesday Dec 3 01:26 AM

Australia? Really? I'd be interested to know the person that leaves their BBQ alone long enough for bees to build a hive that well advanced. Seriously.

ZenGum  Wednesday Dec 3 03:24 AM

musta been some drongo from down south, eh mate? Cold winter, too much of a sook to barbecue in the snow. Whaddayarekkon, eh?

dar512  Wednesday Dec 3 10:09 AM

Originally Posted by ZenGum View Post
musta been some drongo from down south, eh mate? Cold winter, too much of a sook to barbecue in the snow. Whaddayarekkon, eh?
Must be a bunch of wusses then. I have shoveled a foot of snow from the deck so that I could BBQ -- real BBQ, not grilling.

Aliantha  Wednesday Dec 3 05:04 PM

Originally Posted by ZenGum View Post
musta been some drongo from down south, eh mate? Cold winter, too much of a sook to barbecue in the snow. Whaddayarekkon, eh?
Well it doesn't look like southern foliage in the back yard there mate. I'd be guessing somewhere north of Victoria, coastal and rarely frost bitten.

xoxoxoBruce  Friday Dec 5 12:03 AM

They could have been away on vacation or business.
They might have been busy working for a living.
They may not like BBQing.
They may be vegetarians and have less reason to bother with it.
There are a million reasons not to use the grille for long periods of time.

Aliantha  Friday Dec 5 02:21 AM

Yes Bruce, all of those things could be true, but really, it was a light hearted discussion and I'm pretty sure Zen realised that.

xoxoxoBruce  Friday Dec 5 02:33 AM

Originally Posted by Aliantha View Post
Australia? Really? I'd be interested to know the person that leaves their BBQ alone long enough for bees to build a hive that well advanced. Seriously.
I answered your question... seriously.

Sundae  Friday Dec 5 07:27 AM

I think what Ali is driving at is that it is just so gay to have a BBQ and not use it.
I bet even Sheldon would agree. He could have a gay-off with the BBQ owner and still lose.

xoxoxoBruce  Friday Dec 5 11:50 AM

That makes them different from people that only use their boats, skis, chainsaws or camping gear a few times a year?

Pie  Friday Dec 5 12:40 PM

These are Aussies, man. Their standards are a little different than ours.

Aliantha  Friday Dec 5 06:09 PM

Standards? What are those?

dar512  Saturday Dec 6 12:17 AM

Originally Posted by Aliantha View Post
Standards? What are those?
a conspicuous object (as a banner) formerly carried at the top of a pole and used to mark a rallying point especially in battle or to serve as an emblem

Aliantha  Saturday Dec 6 12:18 AM

Ah right. I think we might have a few of those. Not too many though. We don't go in for flag waving all that often.

dar512  Saturday Dec 6 12:23 AM

Ali - I was thinking it must be really late for you. But the world clock says it's Saturday afternoon there.

Aliantha  Saturday Dec 6 12:24 AM

Yep, 3.24pm.

It's stinking hot though. Should be a storm later on.

onetrack  Friday Dec 26 03:52 AM

Don't kill bees!! ..

The bee-killer was stupid for killing the bees in that manner. Australia doesn't have yellowjackets, or African killer bees - but we do have native bees and the European Honey Bee .. which is now the common bee in Australia.
The most common native Australian bee is a tiny little dark-coloured thing, and is not usually used for honey production. There are 1500 types of native Aussie bee, and only 10 varieties don't sting - but stings from native bees are rare, as they usually aren't aggressive.

The European Honey Bee is relatively aggressive and will sting you, if you get too close to a hive, or step on them. They have "scouts" that circle the hive at a distance and pick you out as an intruder and hit you without warning at high speed - thus the fear of bees.

Bees need to hit you at high speed to inject their stinger. Once this is done, the stinger is torn from their body, leaving the stinger and poison sac attached .. which pumps venom into you via remnant nerve/muscle action. The bee dies after it stings you, because it has torn out a large chunk of its anatomy. Bee stings hurt .. and to numerous people, bee stings are dangerous, if they have an allergy to bee stings.

Nonetheless, European Honey Bees are a very vital part of Australia's ecosystem, having been here so long. They are responsible for pollinating many crops, fruits and vegetables, as well as providing delicious honey. We would all be much worse off, without them.

What is worse, is that the honey bees are under real threat, worldwide, from diseases and other problems such as bee mites, Foulbrood Disease, the Vanishing Bee Syndrome, Hive beetles, and excessive clearing.
Australia is one of the few countries left in the world where the honey bee population hasn't been attacked and decimated by bee mites and other bee predators.

You should do all you can to save bees and hives. This hive could have easily been saved by a professional beekeeper, many of whom provide, swarm or hive collection services (not always free, unfortunately). A beekeeper is always looking for more hives and queens.

Look up your Yellow pages next time under "Beekeepers" and see if they advertise a nuisance hive collection service. Most will charge a small fee (it costs money to drive out to your home and collect hives) .. but usually far less than pest control companies.

That honeycomb probably contained enough delicious honey to keep you in a supply of honey for 6 or 9 months. Have you priced honey lately? It ain't cheap ..
You can also use honey as a wound dressing - recent research has found it is very effective at treating wounds, and burns in particular.

Be bee-friendly, and look after our bees - and if you study up on them, you'll find they are absolutely amazing little creatures, at how they communicate, organise themselves, and work like trojans to provide us with good food.
As a final piece of worthy advice .. I recommend you go and see the "Bee Movie" ..

The Australian Native Bee website ..

The Australian Honey Bee ..

Undertoad  Friday Dec 26 10:20 AM

Not the dread Foulbrood Disease. I myself have a patch of crickets suffering from Hassenpfeffer's Malady, and a praying mantis with a case of Dwindling Antennae Disorder. And last year my Algerian Laughing Beetle caught Wagman's Cough.

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