Thursday, July 8, 2010

House swarming

Monday, when I got home from the retreat, I unloaded the car, unpacked, went grocery shopping, and then puttered around the house. When I went out to water the plants, I noticed a lot of bees buzzing around the purple petunias that hang near my front porch. Then I notieced that the paper pulp basket underneath them was covered with bees. Then I realized that the pot was more than twice its size.

I went in and phoned my friends Cindy and Phillip, who are bee keepers. They were thrilled. Here was a swarm, a new colony off bees who had taken the new queen and were looking for a home. Scouts had led them to my pot as a kind of way station, or rest area. We sat and watched them for several hours as more kept arriving. Evenutally the swarm on the pot numbered, Phillip estimated, about 8,000 bees.

It was a beautiful and exciting thing to watch. Then C and P and their friend Jeremy suited up in their garb and got most of the bees into a big tub with a burlap lid and took them away. The bees they hadn't been able to get settled onto the pot. The next evening they came to take more but it was a different experience.Without their queen, the remaining bees were not so docile and I got stung and left the keepers to their work. They took what they could and the remaining 100 or so will die, lost to their colony.

It has been an amazing experience, minus the sore lump on my cheek. A chance to participate in a mystery.

1 comment:

Bridget B. said...

Ooooo - that's exciting!! I hope the bees are successful in their new home!