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Old 10-13-03, 12:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Jul-2003
Location: Ontario
Posts: 1,176
Attacked by Honeybees *pics*

Well, there seems to never be a dull moment for me when I go for a walk with my camera!

I decided to take my Basset Hound, Clyde, to the local conservation area. Last time I was there I noticed an abandoned apiary. The apiary is hard to find and deep within the woods where there are no trails (I don't think anyone knows it's there). I attempted to explore it further last time when my dog was stung a few times (so we took off running).

I decided to harness Clyde up again today and set out to have another look. I managed to locate the apiary again (there are at least a dozen three foot stacks with masses of Apis mellifera (Honey Bees) vibrating within). I tied Clyde up to a tree a few metres away so I could get a closer look without him provoking them. I managed to snap one pic before being stung once in the head and once in the back. I was under the impression that unlike many other hymenopterans, honeybees are not likely to sting unless provoked (which is true apparently).

Anyway, I had a few more bees still in my hair and perhaps 6 inside my shirt so I knew they were all going to sting as soon as that first one stung (they release a chemical messenger, a pheromone, that causes the other workers to attack the intruder).
Once again, I took off running (dropped my camera) and unlatched my dog from his leash. I had to take off my shirt and get the bees off of my body and out from the inside of my shirt. Final Count = 7 stings (three in the head and four on my back). The area on my head feels like I got thumped with a baseball bat.

I can only presume that I inadvertently stepped on a bee while crouching to take a pic and this pheromone release put them in defense mode.

Good thing I am not allergic!

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