Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bee Invasion

A short time ago, buymebarbies and I heard an odd noise.  We looked out the front window and saw this...

please enlarge

Obviously they were bees. They swarmed around the front of our house for a minute or two and then started landing on an inside branch of a pygmy date palm in our front yard.  After about 15 minutes there was a huge squirming mass of them formed into a ball.





We were worried because there are many kids and families who walk in front of our house every day. We called the city thinking they would send someone out to take them away. Wrong!  The lady said to leave them alone.  She also told us that bees swarm like this because a "new" queen has been born and the colony must split up. They are only looking for a new home. They don't want to stay in a palm tree, so they are just spending a day or two until they find a more suitable place to live.  In the meantime, because this isn't their "real" home, they aren't territorial and won't be aggressive at all.  They won't sting anything or anybody, unless they are attacked.  Leave them alone was her advice.

We left them alone and the next morning I watched them start to buzz around and then fly away. Once they started to leave, it only took about two minutes until everyone of them was gone.

I was happy to see them go, because I've been stung many times in the past. Somehow I manged to avoid it this time...


42 comments:

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

this happened to my neighbours tree about a month ago- They just rested for a day then took off- Phew- I kept the monkeys in for the day-
It's funny because he called two different companies one said 'we can come right now and remove it for you for $150'- the other one said 'leave it they are just resting!'

Bossy Betty said...

I would recommend this plan of action when any queen is born near you.

Nat said...

Interesting post...glad the bees were not in an aggressive mood!

Pat Tillett said...

Ren - I had no idea!

BB - I'm sure my wife would agree.

Nat - The lady from the city said it's very rare for people to get stung when they are resting like this...

Brenda's Arizona said...

Holy cow! I had no idea, either! What an interesting fact! Of all the things you hear/learn about bees, this is one of the most interesting! Thanks, Pat!

Joe Cap said...

Yep, Pat, the reason they don't sting is because they are all just stuffed with honey for the long trip...they either can't sting, or are very reluctant to do so.
But...I have been stung a bunch of times too, I would not have gone near them.

RA said...

The lady was right of course, but a bee is a bee and having been stung once or twice, I think you were right to be cautious.
Lucky you snapped the swarming. :)

altadenahiker said...

Aren't they fascinating? I too panicked the first time I had a swarm, and was told pretty much the same thing. And indeed, the next day they were gone. Love that you got a photo.

Jhon Baker said...

That is the most frightening thing I've ever seen.
Being deathly allergic this makes sense. I don't think I would have left the house or even gotten close enough for this photo! you are a braver man than I.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Glad that lady knew what she was talking about, Pat. I've never heard of such a thing.... Glad they are gone too--but wonder where they ended up??????? Yow!!!!
Betsy

Warren Zoell said...

The bees know.

Pat Tillett said...

Brenda - I didn't either! I also learned that there is a bee shortage going on...

Joe - Wow! I had no idea...

RA - I wish i had a camera with me when they left.

altadenahiker - they sure are! I have no idea where they went.

Jhon - I'm not allergic, but I seem to be a sting magnet. A while back I walked to close to a wasps nest and got stung 8 times on my head and face.

Betsy - I hope they found someplace safe!

Warren - Yup! The bee's knees...

KarenG said...

First, it cracks me up every time how you call your *daughter?* buymebarbies. Second, my son going into the Marines read every one of your chapters on the Marine pages. He told me not to, it might scare me. I'm scared enough so I didn't. But I'm sending the link to my other son who's now in the Air Force tech school. Third, At least these were real bees and not the fake bees/hornets/wasps or whatever they are that torment my life for no purpose whatsoever. Fourth, thanks for all your encouraging comments on my other quiet, hidden blog. They always brighten my day even if I don't respond.

Ree said...

Very interesting post, and creepy! Glad they left peaceably.

Ms. Anthropy said...

Ohmygoshthatisamazing!!! I had no idea bees did that. Better not show this photo to hubby, he will have night terrors. He's allergic.

Pat Tillett said...

KarenG - This will crack you up even more. "Buymebarbies" is my wife! At least she can buy her own! She actually buys and sells.

I'm glad your family is enjoying those posts! I wouldn't say my experiences are in any way typical though...thanks Karen!

Ree - Thanks! There were thousands of them...

Ms A - I don't think I'm allergic, but I always take benadryl after I'm stung anyway...

soft nonsense said...

My dad is CRAZY allergic to bees, and though I've never been stung (knock on wood) I would have been freaking the hell out if that happened...

John McElveen said...

I think it was just the sound effects guys from the World Cup.

John

Reading Rachel said...

Yikes! I took something to my garage a couple days ago and got stung twice on my toe, it's still all red and itchy. If I saw that outside my house, I would probably spend the day inside sobbing. Glad they decided to move on.

Marlene said...

The EXACT same thing happened here to a friend of mine recently!! Only in this case, they had a beekeeper come out and relocate the bees (the effort took several days) and indeed, there was a "new" Queen.

I find this stuff fascinating!!

faye said...

You wouldn't have to tell me twice
to leave the bees alone.. I sort
of expected you to write that you
donned a suit and netting and removed the little buzzers..

Neil said...

Very cool stuff! How close did you go to get the shot of the bees in their ball? Not that, after the lightning incident, I'm the person to be urging caution, but...

Copyboy said...

See now why couldn't Mr. Wizard educate us with those kinda stories? Actually, that happens in NYC, but they usually send someone right away.

Chuck said...

Well ya learn something new everyday and this is it for me! Thank God, I only had 2 hours left in my day.

Pat Tillett said...

soft nonsense - that would be pretty scary. I bet I've been stung 25 times in my life. It hurts like hell for about 5 minutes, and then fades away...

John - That's good! If not for the news, I wouldn't know what that "world cup" noise was...

Reading Rachel - I usually get stung on the feet also, it's from stepping on them! ouch...

Marlene - The city wouldn't send anyone. They told us we could pay a beekeeper to do it, but convinced us that it isn't necessary.

faye - I'm not really afraid of them that much. When I was little we used to get stung by yellow jackets all the time. I think they are hornets...

Neil - I think I got about 4 or 5 feet away. Lightning and bears, you better be careful...

Copyboy - No kidding! I guess there is more open space here (a lot of it) so they figure the bees and man won't cross paths.

Chuck - I sure learned something that day.

Jimmy said...

We had the same thing happen to us Pat, I posted on it a while back, actually had a Beekeeper come out and round them up, it was interesting.

Glad to see your bunch took off on their own.

California Girl said...

You've taught me something I did not know. That is fascinating and aren't you glad you didn't smoke 'em out?

Pat Tillett said...

Jimmy - I wouldn't mind if they had gathered them up, but I didn't want them to get killed or anything

California Girl - Yes I am!

They Call Me Lady said...

Uggg, I would have drawn the shades and barricaded myself in the house until they left...I've never been stung and yet I'm terrified of them.

Megan said...

Dang that's cool. I hope they find a good home. Go bees, go!

DrSoosie said...

Hi pat...I am totally phobic of bees. I too was stung and it hurt a lot. I also remember a time when I saw a boy in camp get attacked by a large swarm of wasps. It was really scary and I have never forgotten it. I am glad they decided to leave the front of your home and move to a new location. I can only hope it is nowhere close to where I live!!!

Biana said...

Really nice, I didn't know bees did that. Thanks for sharing, luckily the lady was right! :)

Jayne said...

Wow - stunning photos. I would have been terrified to even step out of my door. Glad the Queen decided the palm tree was not to her liking!

Pam said...

Well it was a good learning journey and a great informative post for all of us. Pat.

Mr. Stupid said...

This was amazing. I had no idea bees would split up when a queen was born. I am just glad they left.

Pat Tillett said...

Vickie - Usually they don't bother people. I like them. Wasps scare me because they can sting over and over, where bees can't

Megan - Yep, hope they found a good one

DrSoosie - I hope their new home is not close to anybody's home!

Biana - You are welcome!

Jayne - Thanks! I got pretty close to them, but I made sure the door was unlocked in case I had to make a quick retreat

Pam - It was for me also

Mr. Stupid - Nor did I!

Ashley King said...

when was this? and how come i never knew about it? what is this world coming to that i have to find out about your secret life on a blog?

Powdered Toast Man said...

I love watching the discovery channel on bees. They are so interesting. I love that you always capture the moment with your camera. I love nature.

Entre Nous said...

Crikey, we had a swarm of carpenter bees this summer when another part of the barn collapsed. It was a nightmare. A bazillion mini-B52's everywhere. I still have a cabinet full of leftover insecticide spray for the next occasssion should there be one...

SquirrelQueen said...

I'm glad they moved on safely, hope they found a more suitable home. I have no problems with honey bees and most that I have encountered have not been aggressive. If you have noticed the bee macros on my blog I get my lens as close as possible. But yellow jackets are another story, one of those suckers put me in the emergency room a few years ago.

Kristy said...

I once had bees in my chimney. I called and no one would exterminate them "because they make food." Well... cows make food, but we kill them... so...

They told me that once they formed a hive they could relocate them. Of course now that honeybees are dying off my thinking has changed, but I soooooooo didn't want them making a hive in my chimney!

Geof said...

That's incredible! Glad you caught pics of that. Looks like the beginning of a bee invasion flick.