Chunk o’ Bees

A couple months ago, my family started to see a lot of bee activity in our front yard. Much to our surprise, there was a hive in our next-door-neighbors’ sprinkler system control box. How cool/slightly inconvenient is that? Our new, buzzing neighbors couldn’t stay of course. So, getting them relocated was on our agenda.

But, the bees had their own plan. 😉

Just the other day, my brother was going outside, taking recyclables to the bin, when he noticed a swam of bees in our driveway. Naturally, he came inside to tell us about it.

I was the last to go outside, but my mom had told me that there was what looked to be a hive in our Crepe Myrtle tree in our front yard. It was massive! We didn’t see this last night. How could they have built it so quickly? I asked my dad if he had taken any photos, and he said that the ones he took with his phone camera can’t capture its essence. I then asked him about my DSLR. That camera would do the trick!

My dad called a beekeeper to come remove this chunk o’ bees ASAP. After he explained our situation to the beekeeper, he was told that these bees did not make a hive in our tree, but were waiting in the tree for a new queen to emerge from the hive and lead them to find a new home. (No wonder it took no time to “build” this so-called hive. It was 100% bees!) We were told the first swarm my little brother saw was the bees moving to the tree to wait, and the queen could take from two minutes to two hours to emerge.

While I was taking photos of this “bee pile” my family and I were feeling a mixture of excitement, awe, and a little bit of caution. After all, this is a lot of bees.

So naturally, we spent the next hour of our Sunday morning waiting to witness this nature show in our own yard, with my mom on “bee watch duty”.

I had finished working on the bee photos I took when my family heard my mom exclaimed “It’s happening!” We all scrambled to watch. We couldn’t see the swarm very well from our front storm door, so we went outside to get a better view. (Yeah, that’s a great idea: walk closer to the giant swarm of bees in your front yard… 😉 ). It was incredible! We saw the swarm move in a tornado-like column, moving upward reaching the top of our two-story house; about 30 ft. After they moved upward, we noticed that they were moving toward our house. Which, incidentally, is also toward us. So, we all started to “walk with purpose” back to the house. My mom and I were pretty much at the front door when my dad told us that the bees were completely ignoring us and we didn’t have to go inside. Whew! My dad was in the front yard just surrounded by the passing bees, and we all stood and admired God’s creation. And the sound they made! The buzzing was unreal. So much that I can’t describe it in way that can do it proper justice.

The bee swarm passed us and went and headed southeast over our house, though we couldn’t see where exactly they went. We just know that they were on their way to a new home.

The next morning, the beekeeper, Keith’s Bee Services, came out to remove the hive, which we discovered had actually been abandoned, and not just reproduced. This abandoned hive was fascinating to look at, and we learned so much about bees and their habits.

This whole event was such a lovely surprise. Watching, admiring, and learning.

 

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