By: Michael Jordan,
“The BEE Whisperer”
I know now that most of you know some beekeeping skills, products that you can make from them and sell, but did you know bees where used for more than just making a food source? This little insect has so many uses it is hard not to think that it would not make a pet, hiding place, but also a weapon.
Your mind is now thinking of bees as a weapon. Of course the first thing that goes in one’s head is to throw them at some one. This was used in so many ways. In the days of catapults beehives known as skeeps where thrown over the walls to help in the invasion of that castle or town. This would cause mass havoc just like when you hear of beehives flipping on the freeway from pollination transports and it shuts down the freeway. Bees where also used to flush out people as well. Tossing a bag of bees in a car would make them flee the car. This was used in some stagecoach knock overs. People often forget on the high plains you did not have a mess of bullets. So a man would ride up and throw a bag of bees in the stagecoach, this making the stage pull over to be overtaken by robbers. I was told at one time, true or not, that bees where used to flush out bank robbers one time. One of the robbers worked at the bank, it was well known that the man was deathly allergic to bee stings. The police had a local beekeeper come in and place bees in the air vents, this flushing out the robbers. Now if it is true or not is not my question here, but think if you have to flush someone out of a bunker, or home. Not a bad idea.
Now think of honey as a weapon. From the first century B.C., records the misfortunes of a Roman campaign, led by Pompeii the Great, against the Heptakometes in Asia Minor. Interestingly, it is not the bees themselves that are employed in this instance but, rather, their honey. About one thousand of Pompeii’s Roman troops were passing through a narrow mountain pass when they encountered a cache of honey. The soldiers accustomed to raiding and looting to augment their provisions, halted their advance and eagerly devoured the honey– and soon became afflicted with delirium and violent seizures of vomiting and purges! In such a condition they were easily defeated by the local Heptakomete defenders who took their cue to attack. It seems that the honey had been left in the soldiers’ path not in an act of flight from the advancing forces but as a poisonous bait to stupefy them. Beware that honey produced during certain times of the year is naturally poisonous. Honey yielded from the nectar of such plants as Rhododendron ponticum and Azalea pontica contain alkaloids that are toxic to humans but harmless to bees. After the offending blooms have stopped flowering, beekeepers in areas where these plants are common (such as the area of present-day Turkey where this incident occurred) routinely remove this toxic honey so it doesn’t contaminate subsequently produced stores. The poisonous honey is then fed back to the bees during time of dearth– if it hasn’t been used first for national defense.
Military application of bees has continued into modern times. In a novel approach practiced by the Tiv of Nigeria, bees were kept in special horns also containing powdered poisons. Thus dusted to increase the efficacy of their own venom, the bees would be released in the heat of battle to attack the Tiv’s enemies (it is not, however, recorded why the bees do not succumb to the poison themselves or how the bees distinguish between the Tiv and their foes). During the American Civil War, Union troops were almost routed when southern artillery shattered a row of hives in a yard through which they were passing. Bees pitched at the enemy or booby trapped to topple over with trip wires were used to the advantage of both sides during skirmishes in World War I. There are even some reports that the Viet Cong used sabotaged Apis dorsata nests against Americans during the Vietnam War.
What makes bees such a scary weapon? It is the sting. People are sacred of the sting end of the bee. Yes everyone is allergic to a bee sting, YES EVERYONE! The toxin in the venom is the same as a rattlesnake. I do not know of anyone that is not allergic to that. Yes some just get a bump or lump for a few days, but others can puff up so bad they cannot move, and yes there is the 1 in 20 that may need to go the ER room for anaphylactic shock. Bee stings take getting used to if you’re a beekeeper. Beekeepers are an odd group. Not slapping or waving their hands at the bees. This action with the hands makes the bees even madder and then they swarm attack. Everyone will die from too many bee stings. How many is that ….500+. The killer bees, or Africanized bees are so deadly due to the fact the hives have more bees in them than your basic domesticated beehive. So lashing out a few hundred bees to sting you is no problem for them. The mass stinging from the bees causes death. Rule of thumb, keep Benadryl on hand. With that now in your head, you can take bees out of a hive and then pull the stingers out and get the toxin. Mashing all you can. Then placing this mix in a syringe. This now can be injected into your target. This will take a lot of time and bees but hard to find the killer if used.
How do you stop elephants raiding crops without harming the environment or the elephant? The solution – to exploit a surprising fact: elephants are terrified of bees. The beehives are suspended on wires between posts with a flat thatched roof above to protect from the sun in the traditional Kenyan style. So far, boundaries have been created for 17 farms, incorporating 170 beehives into 1.7 kilometers of fencing. Now think of placing beehives by lawn gates or out by the back fence. That will keep solicitors from knocking on your door, the kids down the street from jumping the fence. Placing bee hives around your homestead keeps some animals out and some people, too. Just keep them up off the ground or your chickens will have a great meal. You can hang them in the trees, or in places over walk ways. You can shoot at them to stop ground movement. A few taps with a BB gun and that boy kissen on your daughter will be leaving real quick, and it was the bees, not dad. Having your beehives on trailers is nice, as well. They can be placed as road blocks. Other than smashing through them, leaving pissed bees behind, no one is just going to run up and try to pull it out of the way. Giving you time.
One application that I think is awesome, a great hiding place. Just think of putting your extra ammo/guns/money/silver or other things you do not need right away under the hive or hidden in the bottom of a hive. The classical Roman poet Vergil is said to have thwarted soldiers from looting his valuables by storing them in his beehives. The town of Beyenburg (which translates to “Beetown”), in northern Germany, nuns turned loose their bees and sought shelter, leaving the bees to drive off the intruders looking for trinkets. One could place a wall safe in that is open to a bee hive on the outer side. Just when they thought they had the goods, bees everywhere. The other is using beeswax to cover all goods to keep water out. Then one can place objects in water if need. Using your bees as a hiding place will make others look other places first.
There are even bigger plans in the works for the use of bees in military applications, medical applications, and in the construction field. They are now using bees to find poison gas and explosives. Training the bees is simply a matter of bribing them with sugary treats. It all revolves around training and reward, a classical Pavlovian conditioning of the honeybees. We expose the bees to the odor, say the smell of TNT explosive, for a few seconds and simultaneously give the bees a sugar syrup reward. After 4 or 5 exposures, the bees associate the odor with the reward. Consequently, if the bees are exposed to an air sample containing the substance the bees are trained to smell, the odor elicits a Proboscis Extension Reflex response – the bees stick out their tongue in expectation of food. The whole bee training process takes a matter of a few hours; it is very quick. In addition to explosives, the scientists have been able to train bees to detect food product quality, such as very early stages of fruit spoilage, decay odors, counterfeit products, even cancer. Preliminary studies have shown that the insects could be trained to pick up key chemical markers to diagnose diseases such as tuberculosis. The bees can also detect the smell emitted by the dry rot fungus, as it breaks down timber, and so can warn building engineers long before beams start to collapse.
This crazy little insect that most have thought of as a hippie movement to save the bee is not to be overlooked. Pollination of your food source is a must. Eating good raw honey is a must for good health. Having wax and other products from the bees is a must to preserve and keep products. When sitting at home and thinking should we have bees is not the question. The question is where I put them to my most advantage. I have had bees for over 15 years. I have studied them all over the world. I have seen IV bags made with honey and salt, bullets poured out of wax, and honey used on burn victims. I would never count out having honeybees in my survival location. Think on what you would use the bees for. My friend keeps bees because his mother-in-law is allergic to them. I guess her visits are short and long spaced.
Thank you for reading. I am Michael Jordan, “The BEE Whisperer,” Owner of A BEE Friendly Company, INC. located in Wyoming. I have been teaching the art of bees and beekeeping for over 15 years. I have studied bees in my many travels over the world. Bees and Beekeepers are different all over the world. The style of beekeeping used is up to you. There are over 20,000 types of bees and 1500 of them are a type of honey bee. If you work with bees I would love to hear from you. If you want me to come and teach a group or class for you, let me know, I love to talk bees, I travel all over the world doing so. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get me there and we can all bee friendly.
“Make a buzz, have a Bee Hive. When you Talk about Green Technology there is nothing greener then a Beekeeper!” – Michael Jordan -