Have you ever seen a swarm of bees? It’s pretty crazy. I’ve been a beekeeper for a little over a year, and I finally got to see a swarm a couple days ago.
A Swarm of Bees (from Wikimedia Commons)Our receptionist, Molly, called me out to the lobby to see a giant swarm filling the air in our back garden. Neither of us knew what it was at first, and with Passover about to begin, my first thought was “locusts!” Then I remembered that I am a beekeeper, and I thought to myself, “if bees were swarming, wouldn’t it look like this?” Well, yes. Yes, it would.
The bees didn’t hang around for long. They flew right over the lobby to our front parking lot, across the street to our South Building, and then they were gone, on their search for a new home. Team Bee went trotting after them, but the bees were too fast for us. Too bad. We could’ve started another hive.
If you remember, we had a swarm just a couple weeks ago despite our attempts to give our girls plenty of room by adding boxes to their hive. Last week we even created a new hive by moving one of the queen cells and some frames of uncapped brood and eggs to a nuc box. The bee population must be booming right now!
After we spotted the swarm, we inspected our own hives, Flora, Aurora, and Briar Rose, but all three were still buzzing with tons of activity. We think this swarm must have come from somewhere else.
If you see a swarm, don’t panic. They’re just looking for a new home, and they don’t want to hurt you. If a swarm has taken up residence somewhere they are not welcome, a local beekeepers' guild might be able to help move them to a more bee-friendly location. In the Bay Area, the San Mateo Beekeepers' Guild or the Santa Clara Valley guild can help. Backwards Beekeepers in LA area and Mistress Beek in Albuquerque are both great resources as well.