Swarm of Bees

I have been making a point of doing lots of Hebrew lately. It turns out that the purchase of a notebook was all that stood between me and effective studying. Yesterday as I sat at the kitchen table puttering around with my Hebrew bible I swear I saw a scene from a horror film. A cloud of bees was going across the front yard. We’re talking BEES. Not just 1-5 Bees, but a whole flying fortress of be destruction for the fools who would get in the way. I promptly said “Bees!” to myself and shut the windows of the house.

I then stood at the window like a small boy at the zoo and watched the bees buzz around for about 15 minutes. Eventually they settled on a tree branch en masse. There they remained until today, a rugby-ball-sized clump of buzzing tiny animals. I worked up my courage this morning on the way to Friday coffees and snuck into the neighbor’s garden (read garden as yard) and took a picture of a serious portion of the Scottish bee community. Shortly thereafter I walked down the hill and when I came back…the bees were gone. Only one or two remained to document the fact that they’d been there at all. 

I’d like to think that the bees were quite pleased to make a new home for themselves until I took their picture. As though the tree branch they were on was a perfect spot until some noisy representative of the paparazzi decided to take a photo of them when they least expected it. It’s either that or they waited around until I took their photo…as though they wanted the press…I fell right into their fuzzy, pollen-gathering foot-claws. 

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One thought on “Swarm of Bees

  1. Dear Chauncey,
    Swarming bees are usually harmless-however closing the window was probably smart to prevent them from examining your house for a possible place to build a new hive. Swarming is a way to relieve crowding at a previous location…the workers decide when a division needs to occur and prepares a new queen cell; they put the old queen on a diet to enable her to be able to fly; and when the first queen cell is capped-approximately six days after the egg was laid(the finished queen cell looks alot like a peanut hanging on the comb); half of the workers load up on honey and urge the queen out to find a new place to re-grow into a new colony. The original queen doesn’t usually fly far from the original hive location initially…she lands on an object usually 10+ feet above the ground and most of the attending workers(foragers) cover her, making what looks like a ball(the size of which depends on the number of bees which left the hive with her-baseball; soccer ball; basketball; or bearded long ball). A select group of “scout bees” go out looking for a possible new home location and the cluster can wait on that object for a couple of hours up to several days before moving to the chosen new home location. You getting a picture was coincidental and lucky for you! The road of the old queen’s group is a rough one because they don’t have the honey and pollen stores at the original hive site to sustain them and if it too late in the blooming cycle to build up their stores they may die out. Wish you had put the picture in with the note…Love, mama

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