Bees in my Frick'n House!

Last week Arin and I noticed on our way to the Farmer's market that a small group of bees were loitering about the roof of our porch. We didn't think much of it and resolved that we would check with our neighbor to see if she might want to come over and harvest them to add to her own hive which she maintains in her backyard. Our neighbor liked the idea, so we decided that later in the day when most of the bees were likely to be off foraging away from the hive that we would get together to help facilitate the move.

Around 4pm that day I heard her calling me. I was in my backyard gardening and figured that it was time for us to deal with our little bee project.

It was then that I looked up and saw, two doors down from my own, a relatively impressive cloud undulating in the air over my neighbor's backyard. Esperanza was in my backyard moments later and I asked, "are those your bees?" To which she responded, "yeah; this is not good."

Bee Swarm above Roof

Pictured above you can see the swarm in the air and bottlenecked trying to get all who-knows-how-many-thousands of themselves in the roof space above my porch through a 1/2 inch hole.

What we were witnessing was a swarm of bees, about half of her hive, in the process of up and moving itself to the roof above my porch. The small number of bees I had noticed in the morning could best be described as part of the advance team that was helping to prepare the hive for the move. Then, at around 4pm, the queen decided that it was time to move. So she did – and where she goes, the hive goes. All at once.

To say that there were a lot of bees would be an understatement, but at the time it was hard to fathom as they swarmed around me standing in my front yard. I suppose it would be as if you were floating in the middle of a cloud in the sky and I asked you, "how big is that cloud you are in?" A difficult question to answer unless you were standing outside the cloud and had some solid point of reference.

From Esperanza's blog:

[Byrne] is not accustomed to bees and so he ever so calmly said "I am alarmed." I did my best to talk him through it, "the bees are at their least defensive state;" "they are full of honey and docile when they swarm." "They just want to find their queen." He said "there are hundreds and hundreds of them." I did not bother to correct him to say "no, Byrne, there are actually thousands."

Esperanza tells the whole saga on her blog, but long-story-short, there is now a significant hole in my roof, the queen was saved, the colony has been safely moved to a new home and I am proud that I can say that we did all that we could not to contribute to the rapid decline of the global and national honeybee population.

4 Comments

Whoa. Awesome story.

I've seen a bee swarm while having lunch at Baci Cafe in Pleasanton. They were in the process of moving into the local steakhouse.

It was very nice of you to save them.

I love bees, and I know we need a lot more of them, but I can't say I wouldn't have had a major panic attack at that particular moment.

"I am alarmed." You kill me.

Thanks for the tale, Byrne. And thank you for helping preserve your neighbor's apiary work!

Wow, what a story.

The real question here, though, is why isn't your neighbor's blog on MT? :-D

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  • Wow, what a story. The real question here, though, is why isn't your neighbor's blog on MT? :-D ...

  • Thanks for the tale, Byrne. And thank you for helping preserve your neighbor's apiary work! ...

    Sumana Harihareswara
    Bees in my Frick'n House!
  • I love bees, and I know we need a lot more of them, but I can't say I wouldn't have had a major panic attack at that particular moment. "I am alarmed." You kill me. ...

  • Whoa. Awesome story. I've seen a bee swarm while having lunch at Baci Cafe in Pleasanton. They were in the process of moving into the local steakhouse. It was very nice of you to save them. ...

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