Stories from intrepid reporters attending the Illinois Press Foundation Journalism Workshop at Eastern Illinois University
By Kaylee Georgeoff and Sara Dust
Terry Bayes captures massive amounts of bees, numbering around 2,500, found on Eastern Illinois University campus, and plans to take them all home.
Grounds Gardener Larry Shobe notified Bayes of the bee swarm located outside the Stevenson Tower. Bayes collected these bees to prevent Eastern camp attendees, staff, and students from being stung, yet this was not the end of their journey. Bayes plans to take the colony home to harvest their honey along with his other bees.
Bayes was found in his forest green and bark brown camouflage ensemble to capture the bees with no intentions of wearing any protective gear. “I’ll take my chances…it all depends on the bees” Bayes says. Bayes then explains has never been stung, even though thousands of bees swarm when he collects them.
According to him the aggression of bees varies depending upon the situation in which they are placed. The worker bees did, however, sting a bystander.
Living in every colony there is a single queen bee, drones for reproduction, and a majority of worker bees. To rally them together, Bayes knew the drones and worker bees would not be coaxed anywhere without the presences of their queen. Bayes successfully coaxed the queen to the box by lathering honey on a stick and using it as bait.
To transport the hive to Bayes’ home he neutralized them with a gas smoker. They were then placed in the back of his pickup truck and brought to the backyard of his little yellow house.
Bayes collection began when the Master of Gardening at University of Illinois and friend, Max Davis, introduced him to the world of beekeeping. Though he has been acquiring bees for two years, yesterday, he doubled his collection totaling at a minimum of 5,000. His hobby is fully supported by his wife, Cindy Bayes.