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nuggethunting

Attacked by African Bees while Metal Detecting!

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Hello All,

   I know we have talked about bees before on the forums and what is the best method to deal with them.  A few weekends ago I was out metal detecting and used a quad to get to a location.  I was metal detecting probably 20-30 yards from where the quad was parked.  I was metal detecting around some old workings, larger boulders and stacked walls.  As I was digging out a target, trying to roll over larger rocks, a bunch of bees swarmed from below the rocks.  I took off running, with the detector and whatever I could run with.  I managed to escape before the entire colony was swarming right in the immediate area.  I ran for about 100 yards until it seemed like most were not following me anymore.  I managed to get stung 2-3 times in the left arm during the running process.  

I took a short break, watching from a distance.  I was trying to figure out, how to get the quad out of there and eventually back to my truck.  Before I knew it, the bees discovered where I was, and there was one, two and almost a dozen swarming around me again.  I tried my best to not swat at them, but it's almost impossible when they are diving for your face. 

I moved further away and managed for the most part to only see 1-2 bees here and there flying around.  I waited for about 30 minutes thinking how I was going to attempt to get to the quad and not anger them. 

I dropped all my items and decided to sneak from another direction to the quad.  Within about 10-15 yards I started having several bees swarm around me again.  Just as I got right at the quad, there was a handful of them, diving at my face again.  I could feel them bouncing off my hat and back.  Before I knew it, I had several more stings and I took off running again.  

At this point, I was pretty damn frustrated, thinking the quad might have to stay overnight.  I hated to leave the quad, and some of the gear, but figured since I had the key already and most of my valuable goods, it would probably be difficult for someone to steal the quad and deal with the bees at the same time. 

With no gold in my poke, a dozen or so bee stings, I figured I was getting the hell out of here.  I managed to walk a long ways around the area and back to where I parked my truck.  

The next morning I returned bright and early, no bees around and managed to get my quad.  Once I drove away, I seen a few bees flying around, so the quad noise might have angered them once again.  

The area sure looked good and I know those bees were guarding a few gold nuggets!  

Be careful out there, the bees are no joke. I couldn't imagine if the entire colony would have attacked me.  

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Rob, now you have done it, you got the African Bees Matter movement all in bad mood, Obama will be on TV, giving you hell for not letting them protest you detecting. Good thing you left, Next time take a spray bottle of soapy water with you. Grubstake

 

Yeh, you would not want to spend $600.00 on an Epipen.

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Dang that's crazy, glad you didn't get stung too bad. Good to hear you're getting out again too, guess it's cool enough in the mornings now. I gotta start getting out again too!

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Holy Crap! That would kind of freak me out.....how persistent those bees were! Glad you made it out....could've been bad if they all swarmed, that's for sure! 

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Haven't been attacked yet, but think close, had them flying around. Always always, before shutting quad off, point out so to be ready to go. Just a suggestion

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That kind of experience would likely put a lump in my shorts! Glad you made it out with only a few stings.  One thing to keep in mind is that bees are attracted to the scent released by an injured bee (crushed, swatted, or one that had it's guts ripped out after hooking it's stinger in "man flesh").  More importantly, scent chemicals that signal the alarm to fellow bees are released by the stinger.  Once stung, you're a marked man.  When you run, run downwind if at all possible.  That makes it harder for the angry swarm to track you.  Here's a quote from wikipedia on bee stings:

"The sting's injection of apitoxin into the victim is accompanied by the release of alarm pheromones, a process which is accelerated if the bee is fatally injured. Release of alarm pheromones near a hive may attract other bees to the location, where they will likewise exhibit defensive behaviors until there is no longer a threat, typically because the victim has either fled or been killed. (Note: A bee swarm, seen as a mass of bees flying or clumped together, is generally not hostile; it has deserted its hive and has no comb or young to defend.) These pheromones do not dissipate or wash off quickly, and if their target enters water, bees will resume their attack as soon as it leaves the water. The alarm pheromone emitted when a bee stings another animal smells like bananas."

Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bee_sting

That said, you should probably avoid taking bananas with you when you go detecting...  Just in case. B)

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Well crap Rob!   That dont sound like a fun detecting trip :).......Not much you can do if you disturb their hive. Plus you probably smelled from sweating..bees dont like smells.

  Least you got away. Ammonia blueing takes the pain away..looks funny though.

Dad had bees all the time I was growing up.....run downwind so they cant smell you.Well, if you can figure that out when they are hitting you :)

Bees are also pretty inactive at night.

Tom H.

 

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I think honey bees are the only ones that leave their stinger in you.  The rest just pull it out and sting you again!! and again!!

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Hey Rob,....  Glad to hear you made it out alright.  That happened to me a number of years ago, but I wasn't metal detecting.  I was up around the Globe / Miami area on my way back to Tucson from an outside sales trip assignment.  I had to take a leak (bad).  So I pulled off and parked next to an old abandoned wooden building, figuring that I would just slip behind it (Hastilly), do my thing and just leave.  I no more than got around the corner of that old dillapadated building, unzipped my pants and started to feel relief when something hit me in my neck area, but it didn't sting me.  I swung around to see what was messing with me, when I spied a bunch of bees around an opening in the wall about two feet from where I was peeing  " Holy Crap" ....I was trying to stop peeing, but it was going good, I'm mean real good, and hard to get it to STOP.  In the meantime 2-3 other bees started hitting me , but so far no stinging??? After (what seemed to be an eternity) I finally got it to stop peeing, and by then there where 5-6 swarming around me, and just hitting me.  I stuffed it into my pants, zipped up and ran like Hell for my pickup.  Those bees where on me hot and heavy, but this time they where stinging.  I was running and trashing with my ball cap, and they where hitting me like kamikaze's.  I jumped into my pickup and slammed the door figuring that I was now safe,..........."Nope"....two had flown right on in the cab with me, and continued with their attack.  After (much more) thrashing at them with my ball cap I finally managed to kill them.  The other bees where hitting the driver side of my window trying to get at me.  When I re-gathered my senses I found out that I had been stung about 3-4 times on my head and neck area.  The worst was just below my left eye, which almost welled shut.  Good news,...they didn't get "mr. wigglie" though.  Keep-r-safe out there.      

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That's crazy Rob!!  I have bent over to dig a target and seen bee's flying out from under rocks right by the target. . . yup!!! I decided not to swing the pick and moved away.  I was in Soulsbyville, Calif. running a weedeater at my dad's place and had just shut it off to take a break when I heard what sounded like a plane was comming down.  It was getting louder and louder and then I saw it. . . It was a swarm shaped like a water drop the size of a VW.  I sat on my butt and it passed over about 30' above me.  Incredible sight to see. . .

FYI....  I won a fishing trip with an outfitter in Mt. from a local Casino yrs ago and we went to enjoy the trip.  While there my then 4yr old son got stung on the face when I was away at the store.  When I came back my son ran up to me as happy as can be, then I noticed the BIG red marble size welt on his cheek. I found out from mom that the outfitter had dabed some bleach on the sting which immediately takes the sting away.

THANKS for the info Peabody!!!  I now know not go swattin at a bunch bee's

Be safe all,

 

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Thats crazy !!! Glad your okey...I go bite three times on Thursday by meatbees I think....no stingers but very painful....Went to a small creek and decided to go across into some poison oak bushes to the other side, noticed some tailings and figured may as well. Once I got through the PO i started detecting and instantly my detector went off on a target on top of the T.P. than I noticed these damned bees circling around me, and than I felt the bite on top of my left hand, as I ran through the PO to get the hell out I felt another bite back of my head and another on the   right bicep. I got across the creek about 50 yards away and damned things still circling....felt one in my shirt and basically stripped my shirt off and grabbed my stuff and got the hell out. Weird thing is...and I never had a reaction like this before, the whole top of my left hand swelled up..looked like a balloon . Anyhow, keep an eye on those little Bastards......the Buzz iz ....they are aggressive. I never dug the target, will have to get back in the winter......

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Yeh, those meat bees, are more of a type of wasp, than bees, on the Merced river, they were rally bad, You can make a trap for them, out of a coke can and strip of beacon fill the can about 1/3 full of soapy water, hang a hunk of beacon in the can, anf put a hole in the side of the can, alomost to the top, hang it from a wire, the bee's go in and eat the beacon, and get so full they fall off into the soapy water, and can't get back out. It really works, its not a joke. Grubstake

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44 minutes ago, Grubstake1 said:

Yeh, those meat bees, are more of a type of wasp, than bees, on the Merced river, they were rally bad, You can make a trap for them, out of a coke can and strip of beacon fill the can about 1/3 full of soapy water, hang a hunk of beacon in the can, anf put a hole in the side of the can, alomost to the top, hang it from a wire, the bee's go in and eat the beacon, and get so full they fall off into the soapy water, and can't get back out. It really works, its not a joke. Grubstake

Thanks Grubstake. I will give that a try. Those bastards are aggresive and sometime you can't eat outdoors.

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If you want to watch, make it out of a water bottle, just make sure the hole up at the top in the side is big enough for the bee's to go in, Grubstake

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i'm not a doctor, nurse or pharmacist or even and EMT so I am not prescribing this and you use at your own risk ... but ... Once you are bit by any of those flying hypodermic needles it is nice to be able to pop a Benedryl tab or two to help with the swelling ... and give you a little more time to get out to safety or out of trouble if you find that you are allergic and didn't know it! Not as good as an Epipen of course ... but if you know you need one of those you should have it with you anyway. I have used Benedryl internally and externally(externally you need to have the liquid gel caps if you can find them anymore. Hope this helps someone!

 

Mike F 

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Mike your right on the Benedryl, my wife offered me one and I refused,,,,,hence I got one swollen left hand !!! Next time I will listen to her cause the wife is always right....even if shes wright..... ;)

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Carried Benadryl for years in my backpack, only used it once after a few wasps got mad at me. I became so drowsy that it was comical, kinda ended my day of detecting. The drowsiness was worse than the stings. Got stung again a few weeks later and did not take it, just kept hunting. 

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We were out scouting my hunt area yesterday and came across this nest right off an atv trail.  I stopped to take a picture and they immediately came out and started to buzz around our head.  We got the heck out of there quick like when they started to bounce off my wifes face. . . but they followed us about a 1/4 mi +.   I looked em up and think they were Bald Faced Hornets.

Probably should kept going but it was cool to see and no one got stung!!!!

IMG_2177.JPG

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Cool shot Doug :)

I thought it was a garbage bag :o
Tom

 

 

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Thanks Tom. . .  I wanted to get a close up and zoom in, but they didn't cooperate and I wasn't risking a sting to get the shot.

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Too bad you could not have taken that nest, they are worth big bucks, I saw a video of a guy, he got one, and put it in an Ice Chest with dry Ice, after all the wasps were dead, he sold it for over a grand. Grubstake

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