May 19, 2010
I was sitting on my porch this afternoon, enjoying the sunshine, when I heard a very loud collective buzz, or hum. I looked to where the sound was coming from, and up in the trees I saw a swarm of insects. I wasn’t sure what they could be, and I called my insect expert friend Moni, and she had the answer right away..bees! In the spring, new groups of bees venture out of the hive searching for new territory. They are accompanied by a new queen bee, and they travel in a football or basketball (or larger) sized swarm. They travel until they find a suitable home (or until someone bee-naps them and takes them to a hive).
Moni suggested that I call some people south of town that come and collect swarms of honey bees for raising honey, and I gave them a call. By the time I had made the two calls, the bees already settled in a tree by my house. I almost couldn’t find them anymore. The cloud and loud hum were gone, and all that remained was a gentle buzz, until I reached the actual tree. When I got right up close, the bees appeared to be busy inspecting several holes in the tree. They were moving quickly inside and out, with a little cloud of bees constantly hovering around the opening.
On the ground, several ants were carrying dead bees around, and other bees, possibly very tired, were crawling across leaves. And the whole place started smelling like honey! Heavy, sweet and delicious. Please stay bees!
Bees are fascinating stuff! I am going to check in the morning to see if they are still there. My sister suggested that we watch them over the summer, fall, and then in the spring wait to see if a new swarm heads out in search of a new home. It would be great if we could set some up for honey production! (That is Heli’s department.) For now, I am hoping to keep these bees, and have them stick around to pollinate our fruit trees and pumpkin patch (all located right near by)! I just checked this morning, and the bees were still there. Yes! According to my sister, there are groups of searcher bees, and they find the new home as the bees are swarming. Once they land, that is it.