Thursday, August 21, 2008

Toward the end of the swarming bees

Beginning to settle onto the tree.

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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