Nelson Ruiz No Comments

Scientists Cannot Understand Why Smoke Calms Bees

It is not hard to believe that most insects do not respond well to smoke. In fact, tobacco is smoked by some people as an effective method of repelling mosquitoes. While some types of smoke may be less irritating than others, smoke, in general, is far from soothing. Unless, of course, the insects in question are honey bees. Surprisingly, ancient Egyption art depicts beekeepers of the time blowing smoke into beehives in order to avoid being stung. It seems that smoke was understood to be a method of soothing aggressive bees as far back as 2,500 years ago, and this method is still being used by modern beekeepers. Despite this, scientists have yet to understand exactly why bees respond to smoke in this particular way. 

In an effort to understand the peculiar calming effects of smoke on aggressive bees, researchers exposed the insects to the smoke that is produced by the combustion of two different materials. The smoke released from one of these burning materials, burlap, is used by modern beekeepers, and the other, spent hops, is a recycled product of hop flowers that results from their use in beer production. Considering the fact that bees produce sugar-rich honey that is highly appetizing and sought after by many insect species, bees must be physically capable of protecting their hives from intruders looking to gorge themselves on the sweet substance. This is why some worker bees provide guard duty around the hive. When these guard bees detect a threat, they extend their stingers in defense. Since smoke seems to calm aggressive honey bees, researchers expected at least one type of smoke to prevent worker bees from extending their stinger in a defensive manner. However, this did not happen.

After disturbing the bees with electric shocks, they still extended their stingers. When the shocks became particularly intense, bee stingers released a droplet of venom, but they did not do this when hop smoke was released into the hive. This indicates that hop smoke, while not disabling a bees defensive response entirely, did, indeed, work to prevent the release of venom. A bee’s inability to release venom when exposed to hop smoke proves that hop smoke does have an overall calming effect on aggressive bees. Researchers believe that a chemical in hops known as lupulin has sedative effects on a bee’s nervous system.

Do you think that tobacco smoke could have the same sedative effect on bees?

 

 

 

Nelson Ruiz No Comments

A Woman Is In Critical Condition After Sustaining More Than 200 Killer Bee Stings

Bee Control Experts | Magic Pest Control

Africanized honey bees, or killer bees as they are often called, are not often encountered within America. However, this is not to say that killer bees don’t exist in America, as killer bees migrated into America several decades ago. It took killer bees several years to arrive in America after they were accidentally released in South America. Once the bees arrived in America, they continued their habit of mating with native bee populations; this has allowed killer bees to propagate rapidly within America. The resultant offspring retain the aggressive demeanor of their killer bee parent. Given most people’s experiences with common bees, it may seem dramatic to describe Africanized honey bees as killer bees. However, this moniker is perfectly reasonable, as killer bees kill one or two Americans every year, and this number is likely to increase in response to the ecological effects of climate change. The first killer bee victim of the year in the United States in now hospitalized in critical condition after sustaining at least two hundred stings from head to toe.

The victim of the killer bees is a cleaning lady named Maria; she was swarmed by eighty thousand killer bees outside of a home that she had been cleaning in Lake Forest, California. By the time Maria arrived to the emergency room, doctors counted more than two hundred stings on nearly every inch of her body.

Shortly after Maria was attacked, firefighters arrived at the scene. Several of the firefighters sustained a number of bee stings while rescuing Maria from the killer bee attack. The firefighters eventually succeeded in repelling the bees with a carbon dioxide extinguisher. Apparently, when firefighters arrived, Maria’s face had become swollen to the point where she became unrecognizable due to the repeated stings to her face. Amazingly, Maria is expected to live. Shortly after the attack, pest control professionals removed ten pounds of beehives from the property where Maria was working. Hopefully Maria demands worker compensation.

Would you be willing to risk sustaining bee stings in order to rescue a helpless victim of an attack?