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Bees

Discussion in 'Safety Issues' started by Serv, Jul 28, 2007.

  1. Serv

    Serv Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    265
    Location:
    Laredo TX
    What's the most practical way to deal with them? I have dozer work to do where bees just settled in. My dozer doesn't have a cab, but my loader does. We have a much bigger problem with them this year than I've seen any other year out at my pit. Last week I got in my loader (it has an enclosed cab) and dumped a couple 4 yd. bucket loads of dirt on a problem area and about a thousand of them that didn't get buried came after the loader and got all over it as if they really wanted me. They were MAD.

    Then the week after that, my dozer operator was suprised by another bunch that he ran into. They chased him all the way to his pickup and about ten of them followed him into the truck. You can't even tell the bees are in there until you disturb the darn things. Then all hell breaks loose. I don't think these particular bees I'm dealing with are africanized, but as I understand it, 20% of bee colonies down in my area are in fact africanized.

    What makes this extra tough is I'm dealing with quartered tire pieces that I use as partial fill to (legally) reclaim my land. We got a little behind on our dozer work with all this unusual rain we've been having in the past 40 days or so. We've had around 20 inches of rain in the same time that we usually only get about 2 inches. And about three colonies came and settled in throughout my working area. It's hard to pinpoint exactly where they are since there's so many crevases for them to be.

    With all the heat we get down here, wearing a bee suit while operating seems unrealistic. We only have about 50 more hours of catch up work then this won't be such a problem. I can't wait until I graduate from this dozer to one with a cab and A/C. In fact, the oilfield company that sold me my current dozer, did so because some of their operators had some pretty bad bee encounters out on the ranches. So he was in the process of replacing all his older non cab stuff with new D6R cab machines when he sold me mine.

    /rant
     
  2. Steve Frazier

    Steve Frazier Founder

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    Oct 31, 2003
    Messages:
    5,781
    Location:
    LaGrangeville, N.Y.
    First you'll need to identify the type of bee you are dealing with. If they are honey bees, you should be able to find a bee keeper that will take them away for you.

    From the conditions you describe I'd bet you have yellow jackets. Up here they are about the most aggressive bee we contend with, I think they are meaner than hornets.

    If you end up having to destroy the nest, it is best to do it at night when all the workers have returned. Otherwise, you'll have a bunch of angry workers swarming the area like you have experienced. You'll need to saturate the entrance and area around it with insecticide. Before the EPA got nuts, we used to use gasoline or fuel oil, it worked just as well.
     
  3. Serv

    Serv Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
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    Location:
    Laredo TX
    These are most certainly honey bees. I had a run in with some huge hornets they other day but luckily they didn't get me. They weren't very appreciative of the brake cleaner I sprayed on their nest so they chased the heck out of me. I could here them buzzing right by my ear. :D

    I wonder if we even have bee keepers down here any more? I'll look into that today.
     
  4. Steve Frazier

    Steve Frazier Founder

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    Location:
    LaGrangeville, N.Y.
    Interesting! In my area I've only seen honey bees build nests in trees and in the walls of abandoned buildings. Yellow jackets and bumble bees are ground dwellers here.
     
  5. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

    Joined:
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    9,048
    Occupation:
    Running what I brung and taking what I win
    Location:
    Alabama
    I agree Steve, I have never encountered honey bees in the ground but I have had my share of yellowjackets. Just last week I encountered 13 yellow jacket nests in a 2 acre area!:eek: Thank goodness for an enclosed cab. The really strange part was my operator at the chert pit ran into a nest of yellow jackets in a bank at the pit.:beatsme I have always encountered yellow jackets in the bush while clearing land, never in a pit that has been excavated. He scooped up the nest and loaded it into a tri-axle headed my way. I just wonder if those yellow jackets were hitting windshields behind the truck?:) Oh - by the way I am still planning my retaliation for that gift at the dumping end.:D
     
  6. ILMChris

    ILMChris Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2007
    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Wilmington, NC USA
    Yeah it sounds more like yellow jackets. The time I ran into a nest of them they looked like honey bees except if I recall correctly honey bees seem to be a bit more shaggy and yellow jackets are more shiny. I don't know if that makes sense. But yeah one minute there were just a few popping in and out of their hole and then they exploded and got me good and chased me for about 75 yards.

    I was watching a documentary on africanized bees and as I recall if you call the Agricultural Extension service or what ever they have down in Texas they'll come out and check what you have.
     
  7. Serv

    Serv Senior Member

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    Oct 28, 2006
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    265
    Location:
    Laredo TX
    My other shop called me this morning and reported a colony that had settled in one of my old rental storage trailers. We had left the door open and they settled in there in no time. These were definitely honey bees as may be evident in the pics. If you look closely, you can see them swarming around the top in the first pic. These things just love tires. The blue shirt guy in the pic refused to wear a bee suit (other than the hood) and had them swarming all over him and he was brushing the stinging bees off as if they were mosquitos. He told me he's so used to being stung that it doesnt even bother him anymore. :eek:

    What a long day today was. :rolleyes:
     

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  8. ILMChris

    ILMChris Member

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    Jul 22, 2007
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Wilmington, NC USA
    You should go into business...people pay extra for "local" honey :D