Thursday, August 21, 2008

Toward the end of the swarming bees


Beginning to settle onto the tree.


video

At one point, after about half of them had settled on the tree in a cascade of bees, I had to walk out into them to close up an open access into the attic. Definitely did not want those bees inside the house. Walking into a swarm of bees is not highly recommended because it is usually difficult to be certain how long they have been swarming. A dry swarm, that is one that has been flying for more than a day and is getting hungry, can be a stinging swarm. Not something I want to get involved with on any given day. This one, however, had just taken off from next door and each bee was full of honey and no longer had a hive to protect so it was very docile. That's why I felt relatively good about my safety when walking outside into a back yard full of flying bees. Took me a while to get out the back door even knowing that, however. I had to go over in my head a few times why it was OK to open that door and walk into a cloud of thousands of bees in flight. The avoidance of the potential for receiving multiple stings can be a very visceral thing.






Here is the bee cascade in the apple tree. The queen is near the top.

I calculated there were about 40,000 bees flying above the patio before they had settled onto the tree. The swarm was a 15 foot cube of bees about 4 inches apart from each other. Amazing stuff.

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