Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It Sure Was Buzzing at Work Today

In a quiet alley in a small city in West Virginia there was a small tree. And in that tree...
was a swarm of honeybees! Did they cause a stir? You bet. It was on our library's property, so guess who has to figure out what to do? You got it.
It wasn't so hard, either. First call was to my husband, who'd just started a new hive at home on Monday. He could just come down and hive it! But he wasn't answering the phone.

Second call was to a beekeeping friend. No luck there either. Third call to the Extension Service, who promised to find someone. Thirty minutes later, still no help on the way, but the Extension guy gave me the number for the Ag Dept. Called them, got two possible numbers and got lucky on the second call.

Gallant beekeeper suits up. We'd put up cones and signs to warn people on the walkway because there were literally thousands of bees flying around. Quite a sight.


Into the tree...
and down with the bees. Into the box...
and lid on.
Unfortunately, many bees were still in the tree, but with the queen bee now gone, these stragglers will probably be gone tomorrow.

Why were they here? Apparently a hive somewhere not too far away had built a new queen cell, which had hatched. The bees liked their new lady and left with her to find a new home. They chose the tree by the library. Not a great place unless you're an urban bee.

That's the quick explanation. Beekeepers reading this, can you offer more information? It was quite a sight, and made for a very buzzy day at work.

8 comments:

Laura said...

I just read a post on another blog about honey bees swarming when they get a new queen. Crazy stuff.
Hope all the buzz has died down today.

Twisted Fencepost said...

Interesting post, Granny Sue!
I have had a couple of run ins with bee swarms. Kinda scary!

Anonymous said...

I had a rogue hive in my yard once! I called the extension service and they contacted a local beekeeper. He came and as we watched (from the porch), found the queen bee and all the other bees followed. It was pretty impressive to see. Someday, I want a hive in my yard. tm

Cathy said...

It's just nice to see so many healthy bees in here in the state!

Granny Sue said...

For some people the bees are scary, especially if they're allergic. I'm fascinated by them, although when I tried to help work in the hives I panicked. That was almost 30 years ago so maybe today I'd do better. The veils are certainly better. So I understand those who find it frightening.

Yesterday's bees weren't too interested in the humans. The process was interesting to watch, although our little tree is now a very odd shape. And Cathy, I agree-after all the news about the decline of honeybees it is good to see they are still out there doing their thing.

This morning only a few stragglers are left hanging around. You'd never know it was such a hive of activity yesterday.(ouch)

Country Whispers said...

EEEWWW... I don't like buzzing bees. I know they are good and as long as they leave me alone I will leave them alone. Same with your snake the other day, I like to stand back and watch from the sidelines.

Janet, said...

You wouldn't catch me up there in that tree.

Anonymous said...

Honeybee swarms are generally very docile. They're not interested in stinging people but in finding a new home. You notice that the beekeeper isn't wearing gloves. Back when we raised a couple of hives, I've had them crawling all over my gloved hands and arms when hiving swarms. Batsy

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