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This is a question B3ta Person of the Year 2010

Instead of Time person of the year, who's B3ta's and why? (Thanks to Elliot Reuben for the suggestion.)

(, Thu 16 Dec 2010, 10:53)
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IT WAS 1996
I had taken a job for the summer holidays at a campsite, generally looking after the place, sorting stuff out for the campers and fixing any problems that came up. It was a lot of responsibility for a teenager but I got on alright, if something major came up I'd phone the camp manager and he'd take over.

People brought their own camping stuff and we had a sort of grid, which for convenience we named after alphabetical female names, so for instance if someone's tent pegs had been nicked, I'd check the grid and write down something like "12th July - 2:15pm - tent pegs nicked Laura tent".

It was towards the end of my employ there that the defining moment of my summer occurred; some middle class hippie types came along in a rather unusual structure, a central asian yurt. Some bollocks about how they live better or something. They were towards the back of the campsite and within a couple of days had really wound everyone up, including the beekeepers who worked in the fields adjacent to us. They were absolutely furious with them, as they kept trying to break in and free the bees, I called the manager over this one, and he seemed to have placated both parties. Unfortunately this turned out not to be the case.

I was woken up that night in my on-site accommodation by a fair bit of shouting and screaming. I could see straight away that there was a fire at the back of the site, so I called the fire-brigade and went to see what I could do to help. As I got closer I could see that it was the hippie's camp that was on fire (they were all out fortunately), and not only that, there were bees EVERYWHERE, with the beekeepers pointing and laughing from the field nearby.

I only learnt this later, but it turns out you can attatch a valve and funnel to a beehive, add some sort of chemical to get the bees really going, and they'll race through at such incredible speeds that they cause a hell of a lot of heat via friction. Add this to a dry combustible dwelling like theirs and you have a fire waiting to happen. The beekeepers had done just this, wheeling over their hives on some pallets or something , putting the tubes into their tent as they slept and turning on the valve.

The hippies left the next morning, threatening to press charges and so on, but nothing ever came of it, I expect because it clashed with their ideals. It was a night I'll always remember to my dying day. Bees, my god.

And that was my bee tap arson of the yurt wendy-tent.

no YOU fuck off
(, Sat 18 Dec 2010, 19:40, 8 replies)
Holy Fuck!
Big internet gold star for you!
(, Sun 19 Dec 2010, 0:51, closed)

(, Sun 19 Dec 2010, 10:55, closed)
yet i still want to believe the whole story. Ace.
(, Sun 19 Dec 2010, 21:49, closed)
I'm going to click this.
Because some thought has actually gone into it. And it made me groan.
(, Sun 19 Dec 2010, 22:37, closed)
You, sir
..have far too much time on your hands.
(, Mon 20 Dec 2010, 8:36, closed)
I'm trying, and failing to understand
what the physics are that allows bees to generate enough friction heat to start a fire.

And also, why the beekeepers would want to set fire to their own bees (which undoubtedly would be the result of this).

Would it not be easier, more humane and less damaging to their own business to have bought half a gallon of unleaded and a box of matches?
(, Mon 20 Dec 2010, 11:49, closed)
I just can't work out why someone would want to steal tent pegs

(, Mon 20 Dec 2010, 12:40, closed)
are you suggesting
the bees stole their tent pegs?
(, Mon 20 Dec 2010, 17:26, closed)

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