Tuesday, May 27, 2008

2000 Unwelcome Guests

I first saw the swarm swirling in my front yard. Thousands of bees thickened the air. The density was so thick that I couldn't see through it. I hoped they would move on, but by later that afternoon they had settled into my front garden.

I called a beekeeper who asked me where they were and how they were bunched. I confirmed they weren't making anything, but were settled in on top of one another in sort of a "football". I got the following info:
  • These guys are migrating and are resting. They should move on within 72 hours. The swarm will send out drones to look for permanent housing, so the only worry I have is to make sure they don't pick the eves of my house as their new home.
  • Obviously keep kids and pets away. She also suggested turning off the sprinklers to avoid annoying them. Plus, if some strong water makes the queen unable to fly, the swarm isn't going anywhere without her.
  • The beekeeper didn't want the bees and said I would have a hard time finding someone to take them live. Apparently wild bees have been inbreeding with Africanized strains, and while there is no danger to the public, keepers don't want them. If they stay I will have to exterminate them (isn't there supposedly a bee shortage?)
So I will let them rest for a few days and hope they move on. If they aren't gone by next weekend then the heavy artillery gets called in.
Update: They left on their own late yesterday afternoon, so they were around about 48 hours.

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