Duct tape FX
Africanized honey bee
NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
25 Sep 1996
- Silver Bell
- 32.38333 -111.5
- SONY TCD-D7
Stereo=1; Decoded MS stereo
NPR/NGS RADIO EXPEDITIONS
present: Hayward Spangler, works at USDA Carl Hayden Bee Research Ctr., and Steve Buchman
place: bee yard near Silver Bell, AZ -has bees that are largely Africanized
17:54 SB -See the bees flying in and out of the colonies, but we don't have any that are trying to attack us yet.
18:06 SB -Ok. there's our first bee coming around inspecting us. there are some big, ominous dark clouds fairly close. so that is not a good thing for working with Africanized bees.
19:57 SB -We are in the upland -actually the upper Bhata, the slopes coming out of the mountains here, and we are surrounded by beautiful green dessert. We have Palaverte trees, the giant columnar cacti, the state flower of AZ the saquaro, we also have the waving arms of Ocatios, lots of cacti in this area. We are going inside the chain linked fence with some barb wire ....we have about probably 15 to 20 colonies of Africanized bees, our worst meanest bees, that is why we have put them out way out away from anyone in the city. Ok we are going through the gate ....
21:37 SB -Their flight behavior is quite different than European bees, very very spooky erratic
22:13 ambi -bees, getting louder
22:39 SB -I've got 2 or 3 guard bees now starting to circle around my head, so we are staring to get their attention.
24:07 SB tapping the hives with a rock to get the bees to come out
24:16 SB -the bees are boiling out the bottom part of the hive is black with them now. I've got about 30 bees trying to sting my veil [bees very loud!] 24:32 Smell that banana. it is venom spraying into my face from the bees. this is really bad. this is as bad as I have experienced in [VG bee ambi] Costa Rica and Panama. It is really nasty.
VG 24:46 -24:47 bee ambi
24:48 SB -I hope we don't have any holes. this is really a good full force attack. they are still boiling out the front of the colony. each of us -well i've got about at least 100 bees on the front of my veil trying to get in. yeah, each of us has at least a hundred bees or 200 bees on the front of our veils.
VG 25:13-25:19 bees attacking
25:19 SB -smell that alarm pheromone that scent of bananas as they
hit our veil. I am breathing to the carbon dioxide, and my breath is really exciting them, increasing the attack. the bees are just probing trying to get in everywhere, but we are duct taped -oh god this is really unbelievable. i can barely see out of the front if my veil, there are so many bees.
VG 25:49-26:02 bees
26:03 SB -the smell is really over powering it is like living ¬it is like what it must be like to live inside of a popcorn maker. the bees are hitting our helmets and our veils with such intensity. we are backing off now, we are probably about 35 feet from the hive, and we've still got hundreds and hundreds of hungry bees around our veils
VG 26:25-26:33 bees
26:34 SB -Are we having fun yet?
G 26:35-26:42 bees
26:45 SB -So far, no stings.
26:56-26:59 ambi -bees
27:00 SB -yeah, I wouldn't want to be out here w/o bee protection. we can laugh about it, but this is serious business. we would have each received at least 1000 stings w/o proper protection. After those 3 or 4 tapes with a rock on the colony, they were literally boiling out in probably 10 or 15 seconds, and by half a minute or so we had full blown attack going. Every time I exhale to talk, just got many many bees trying to bite and sting their way through the veil. again, it smells like bananas. they are hitting the veils with such force that they are spraying venom.
28:45 tapping another hive with a rock
28:50 SB -Ok! Now we've got some action here!
VG 28:52 -ambi -MAJOR BEE ATTACK!
29:00 SB -Wow. This is really bad. I hope we are bee proofed. They are just hitting me with such force. Oh! This is amazing.
29:09 SB -We are all being pummeled with these bees and they are hitting us with a lot of force, on the shoulders, on the veils. Yeah, this is a full blown Africanized bee attack underway.
VG 29:29-30:00 ambi -bees attacking
30:01 more tapping of hive with a rock
periodic tapping of hives
G 30:11 bees attacking
VG 30:52 ambi -a wave of strong bees
31:15 Hayward? -Yee Haw!
31:49 SB -just got stung a few times in the shoulder. a pretty massive attack. i think we are about ready to call it quits. i've about had enough.
VG 32:00 bees very very loud
32:52 SB -I am getting stung up pretty badly. i don't know about you but i am getting stung on the shoulders and the arms through the suit.
VG 32:58 -33:05 bees very strong
VG 33:17-33:21 bee strong
34:36 setting off in the car -getting out of there, driving away -bumpy road