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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bar Room Politics

So yesterday Stephen gets a call from this guy who seems to think he spoke to Stephen the day before about some bees that he and his friends had found in a tree. Stephen assured him that he had not received a call but he would be glad to come have a look. Turns out they are in a community that is so close you don't realize you are leaving Colbert before your actually in this community, really close in other words. The guy says call when you head over and we will meet you and show you where they are.

Last evening after work we called and said we are on our way, the guy says oh just stop out in front of this bar and we will come show you. So ok I am thinking that the tree is behind the bar, but no the guy was in the bar having  a few, and had already had a few. 

Partly because it was raining and partly because we really didn't want to cut open a tree full of bees with a half drunk guy standing there who maybe wouldn't be able to run away if the bees where really aggressive, we made plans to come back this morning around 10 am. Safe time right 10 am wont be to much drinking going on. 

We call the guy back this morning and say we are on our way, he says meet him at the bar........... So we did, this time there where three guys. They went with us to where the tree was, as we are standing around watching Stephen cut the bees out of the tree I found myself listening to these three guys discuss every day life really. Even though I am not much for being at the bar all the time, I find the bar room politics to be funny at times. Here are a few of the discussions they got into: 

First the tree was at the back of the property, but at the front there was another tree that had these tiny white flowers in it. We had to go have a look because the three amigos where insistent that some bee activities where definitely taking place in this tree. They where very right, as you approach the tree you can hear thousands of bees buzzing around. No the discussion takes a funny twist when two of the guys want to debate rather or not the sound was coming from a hive of bees inside the tree attempting to cool down their hive or was it coming from the literally thousands of bees buzzing around in the tree on those tiny white flowers.  
One guy insist that you can only hear bees when they are cooling the hive, another argues that there may very well be a hive inside the tree, however the noise you hear is from the bees buzzing around the flowers. It as comical to see these guys in their 60's having this discussion each repeating the same information over and over, and each time one would state his argument they would look to me for confirmation. I kept saying I can hear a bee any time it buzzes by me, but when they are cooling their hive it is just louder and more noticeable, in other words your both right you can hear the bees buzzing in the tree and in their hive. I guess because I wasn't taking either ones side, they where compelled to re-hash the topic a few times. You really had to witness this discussion in order to find it as humorous as I did, because your missing out on the facial expressions and body language!

Then there was this discussion on rather or not the queen bee can fly. One guy insisted that yes she does fly, another insisted that no if the queen leaves the hive the other bees carry her. Again they rehashed their points and opinions a few times and looked to me for confirmation.  I kept telling them that a queen can fly, she just don't very often, she flies to mate and flies to swarm off but other than that she stays in the hive tending to the brood or making more brood. They would say ohh and aaahhh and then rehash their points. 

They where funny and kept moving from one topic to another and back to the first all the while repeating their points and insisting that the other was just drunk and didn't know what he was talking about. 

The third guy that came had apparently worked on a farm at some point where they had a hive or two. He felt kind of smarter than the other two because he had a little experience with bees. So he spent a lot of his time assisting Stephen. Apparently yesterday after we had looked a the bees the boys got to discussing the issue at the bar, the guy who was assisting Stephen had said he knew a little about bees and wouldn't be scared to come rob some of the honey. It seems he left the bar, went to the tree and stuck his hand in to get out some comb with honey to take back to the bar. Only a few short minutes later he returns to the bar with a small piece of older comb that didn't actually have any honey in it any more. However according to the guys he had 50 bee stings! lol I doubt that he actually had 50 but he apparently got stung getting some empty comb from the tree. 

Today at one point he was keeping the smoker going for Stephen and of course he didn't have a bee suit and felt brave and wanted to be involved.  Me and the guys look up to see him standing there with the smoker, watching the bees buzz to him, as each bee approached he would puff a little smoke at it. You have to picture this grown man with a smoker doing a little dance trying to hit each bee with a puff of smoke. It was to funny for words!  One of the guys says to him "man I got up at 5am this morning and started drinking, what time did you start? Cause I am thinking it was before I started" 

First of all who wakes up at 5am to start his drinking for the day? Second of all maybe it is true that smoker guy was a bit tipsier than 5am guy! This cracked me up again. 


When Stephen pulled out the first comb and put it into a rack, there was some left over, of course the guys wanted to try the honey. At some point of one of the guys gave their dog some of the honey. From that point on the dog's owner kept telling them to stop cause the dog had eaten enough but the dog wasn't having it. When they wouldn't give her some comb and honey she started licking it off of the tree! 

Then Stephen got to a point where there was a huge limb and we didn't know how much farther up the comb was, so they went to the other side of the limb and cut into the tree to find that there was no comb, so the theory was that the comb stopped some where under this huge limb. 

The guy who showed us the hive yesterday announces that if Stephen will cut a line on the back side of the limb he will go get the back hoe and use it to pull the limb off. Not a bad idea..The owner of the tree and land says oh don't go after the back hoe, just get the tractor. He then gets confused and thinks that his buddy has has Stephen to cut the limb down the middle instead of at where the limb connects to the tree. It appeared that his confusion then got Stephen confused he had this look like "what the heck do they want?". 

So as back hoe guy goes off to get the tractor and a chain that weighs more than he does, I attempt to explain where the cut needs to be made. After some hand demonstrations every one seems to be on the same page and the cut gets made. Then it was a debate over where to put the chain! lol 

Finally the limb comes off and we realize that the honey and comb stopped at the bottom of where the limb connects to the tree. Job done all the honey is out and placed into the hive and the bees are slowly making their way to the hive. 

The boys invite us back to the bar for a drink. So we went, I had water and Stephen had a beer. As we sit out in the back of the bar and discuss the bees, Stephen ask how exactly did they get his number because his name and number seem to be getting around and we don't exactly know how, some one told us it was in the phone book but we never listed it. 

The guys went in and retrieved a note book and a piece of paper. The tree and bar owner says he called some extension office and ask about who could save the bees, they gave him some phone numbers. As he explains it the first number he called was some woman who made out that she has a bee farm, however he didn't like her much because she told him to exterminate the bees asap! He can't remember her name and he scratched it out on the paper because he didn't like talking to her once she said to kill the bees!  Then they called some other number and told this man about the tree and the bees. The man apparently assured them that he wanted the bees and would come for them.  Some how the next day when they went to open the bar up there was a note on the door with Stephen's name and number and a note that he would come get the bees. Now  we have no clue who put the note, and the men thought it was the guy they called the night before. We have no clue but it's interesting that people know his name and number and hand it out when bees come up as a topic. 

Now the funniest part of the whole morning came as we sat there discussing the mysterious note. We heard a car wreck, one of the guys thought that maybe a car had hit one of the stray dogs that often roam around this community. He was saying as much when an instant after we hear the bang sirens go off. Another of the guys comments that its interesting how quickly the police sirens went off, it truly was ...bang then siren in only a second. . The man's comment was actually this :

" Interesting that around here if some one hits a dog  the cops are right there with sirens going, now if it had been a gun shot there wouldn't be any sirens"

Again these old drunk guys had me rolling most of the morning!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

OMG How can Kten News be sooooo irrisponsible!!!

Stephen has been overwhelmed with calls the last couple of weeks. It is bee swarming season and our number seems to have been passed around. Not complaining though because every hive we can capture is a hive saved.  

Stephen has been asking people how they got his number, every one says they got it from the phone book under exterminators, ummm we haven't listed a phone number at all so I am lost as to where this came from.  Very strange. We only have cell phones so we don't even have a phone book, so   I decided to search the net to see if I could get his name and number off the net. I didn't have any luck but I did stumble across a Kten news story about bees and now I may never listen to their news again!! Below is a quote from the news article, I also included the link at the top for the actual news article!




Although some people prefer to leave their wild bee swarms alone, since many of the swarms move on in 3 to 4 days, the safest course in urban areas is to hire a professional exterminator to remove the swarm or exterminate it, before it can discover a way into your home.
Homeowners can also handle the job themselves with an inexpensive sprayer and soapy water.  Liquid dishwashing detergent mixed with water can be sprayed through a sprayer to kill exposed bees.  Soapy water is less likely to agitate bees than other methods.  A mixture of 1 cup of liquid soap in a gallon of water will immediately disable bees that are wetted with the solution.  Wetted bees die quickly.  Continue to spray the swarm as the outer layer of bees falls to the ground.  All bees must be thoroughly covered with soapy water to ensure that the swarm is eliminated.  Catch dying bees in a garbage bag or trash can as the bees are sprayed with soapy solution.
Regular honey bees and Africanized honey bees ("killer bees") are so closely related that it is impossible to tell them apart except with genetic analysis or under a microscope.  Both types of bees are sensitive to nest disturbance, however, Africanized bees respond more quickly, send more bees from the colony to drive the intruder away, and pursue intruders farther than regular honey bees do.
The venom of Africanized bees is chemically identical to regular honey bees, but they are a greater threat because they are more likely to sting in greater numbers.
For more information on bees, please visit http://honeybee.tamu.edu.

All I could think the whole time I was reading this garbage was why couldn't this empty headed reporter actually inform people about the beekeeping associations and agricultural departments in the viewing area. This information would provide viewers with contact information to organizations that can assist people in finding a beekeeper to safely remove a swarm of bees rather than exterminating them! In case people aren't aware honey bees are rapidly disappearing. With out honey bees we won't have produce. How could any reporter encourage people to kill such a vital link to our food source! Wow how irresponsible of the reporter and even more so the news station for not better monitoring the information they are putting out! 
 Oklahoma Beekeepers Association at (405) 433-2362, evenings, or the Texas Beekeepers Association at (512) 388-3630.