We recently walked out our front door to see what we thought was a GIANT beehive in our small oak tree in the front yard. My first inclination was to grab a bottle of bug spray. Now that was my inclination but my husband happened to know of a bee keeper so we called him instead.
I must say watching him move the swarm to a new home was quite a learning experience. Yes that was a swarm in our tree; not a hive. They were actually swarming over an old bird nest. It appears that they have been kicked out of their prior home so these worker bees went with their queen to find a new home. I for one was not happy about that home being in my front yard. The bee keeper brought them over a nice 3/2/2 and helped them to get settled.
Honey bee swarms are actually not dangerous. They are only defensive in the vicinity of their nest. At that point they are defensive to protect their young and their food supply. A swarm doesn't have young nor food supplies so they will usually not exhibit defensive behavior unless they are unduly provoked. Now our son did get stung when out mowing the yard so maybe the lawn mower provoked them. He was not taking any chances and decided to wait until the swarm was gone to finish the mowing.
I have a new appreciation for bees after talking to the bee keeper and watching the process. I did not catch the swarm dropping but you will see one picture with the swarm in the air and the next one the swarm is on the box.
After getting the swarm down to the box the next step was getting them settled in to their new condo. You can observe the bees scent-fanning at the entrance to signal the entrance to the new nest as the bees march into their new home. There is one point in the movie where you will see the screen go a little crazy as I was getting away from the bees. According to the beekeeper I was safe but I was not taking any chances.
I was amazed at how comfortable the bee keeper was around the bees. We asked him if he got stung often and he told us no.
When you see the bee keeper pointing he is pointing out a waggle dance. The bees do a waggle dance to share information.
I was a little sad that a small group got left behind. They huddled as a very small swarm in the tree for a few weeks and then were gone. I hope they found a larger swarm but I'm not sure what happens to the remnant when they miss the move.
I found a website that you can go to and find a bee keeper should you find yourself with a swarm in your front yard. After finding out how social honey bees are I'm glad that we helped them find a new condo. I also found out that there is a shortage of honey bees in the United States so you are being ecologically green and helping our environment also.