African Honey Bees

Well, we’re only about half unpacked so I can’t post “finished” photos yet.  You know how when you fold laundry you think you’re almost done, then you pick up a towel and there are ten more things under it?  That’s what our unpacking is like.  However, it really is like Christmas.  Many things I thought I put into storage I actually packed and brought along — like our juicer, Cuisinart, Kitchen Aid mixer — really good things that can’t compare to the expensive cheaply-made knock-offs here.  I have already made up the beds in the two guestrooms so they’re ready for visitors (hint, double hint).

In the meantime, I thought I’d tell you about this week’s adventure with nature.  Thom was sitting in his office happily (well maybe determinedly) typing away when all of a sudden a bee started buzzing around him.  He’s wary of bees in Africa because apparently they’re very aggressive so he swatted it and killed it (sorry PETA).  I was a little miffed because you may have heard that bee colonies are dying around the world so we’re supposed to help them out.  Being the super-smart professor he then showed me the Wikipedia site for “African bees” and yikes!  They do sound scary.  Here’s what the site says:

A single African bee sting is no more venomous than a single European bee sting, though African honeybees respond more quickly when disturbed than do EHBs. They send out three to four times as many workers in response to a threat. They will also pursue an intruder for a greater distance from the hive.

I went outside to check things out and it seemed there were a couple of hundred bees buzzing around, with some landing on the vent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I didn’t want to get too close given what I had just read (hence, the blurry photo).  Good thing because within a minute a HUGE swarm appeared from the North.  I backed away as they decided to have a sit-and-chat right above Thom’s office window.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, I’m as good a friend to the bees as anyone but I didn’t want to see if these were the aggressive African honey bees or the nice African honey bees so I retreated to the safety of the house.

Meanwhile, several had entered through the vents and windscreen cracks and tried to befriend Thom.

He would have none of it and stuffed kleenexes into the window screen cracks and tried taping aluminum foil around the vents.  Soon he gave up and fled the room with his computer.   I don’t think he has a future with Eradico.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As usual, our trusty guards saved the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had a fleeting thought that boys will be boys worldwide and would use any excuse to burn things but they assured me that smoking out the bees was standard African practice.  They said that soon they would leave and find another home.

Turns out their “other home” was the other side of the rainbow as a large percentage of the colony died.  The gardener shook his head at the crazy American who was really bummed about the dead bees.  He offered nary a comforting word as he went about cleaning up the mess, callous man.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Kimm X Jayne

Gravatar Photograph from the exceptionally talented Ben Heine. http://www.flickr.com/photos/benheine/3794765860/
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7 Responses to African Honey Bees

  1. Lisa Murray-Johnson says:

    Okay, gross. That is one thing I do not like are bees! Okay, that and spiders–Kimm I’m sure you remember that night in the hotel where the spider stalked me in the bathroom. So glad your guards were able to get rid of them. Totally amazing that they’d come up so fast and just start to invade like that. Is that something both normal honey bees and African bees do? Sounds like that 1980s movie about the attack of the killer bees. With the dying honey colonies, I can understand being bummed because I love honey, but I”m hoping those were not honey bees. I’ve never seen something that aggessive before. Did Thom get stung at all?

    • Kimm X Jayne says:

      nope, nobody got stung. In fact when I got in the house I noticed one on my arm so I just brushed it off and it buzzed straight up to the light fixture and hovered around until it died. Made me think that maybe these were the okay ones? (though it was by itself so I couldn’t really tell)

  2. Jeff Johnson says:

    What, no Acme Anvils or sticks of dynamite around? We had some making a nest in the void behind some decorative moulding. I used a shopvac to suck them out.

  3. Maureen Witte says:

    We had a “like” adventure last fall. They swarmed and sat under the eaves outside the side garage door and came into the garage. We called animal control and they said “give them 3 days and they’ll move on. If not, call us back.” So we gave that a try, and sure enough, after hanging in there for three days looking just like your’s did, they did move on… To the neighbor’s garage. What did they do? Had them sprayed and killed off before we could get to them with our solution. I know we need to take care of our bees, but Africanized bees are dangerous, and who are we to know the difference. Anyway, all for naught…

    • Kimm X Jayne says:

      Wow! I wish we had known that. They came so fast I can believe they’d move on fast — but how do you know if they’re setting up a new hive or just traveling? I don’t know if I could have talked anyone here into waiting for three days to see. Next time though…

  4. Levy japhet says:

    Am looking for some one to help me kill the bees at home in lusaka kabulonga

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