Monday, July 25, 2011

A real Bee-mergency

So, it's not such a big deal having chickens and goats and bees in your neighbors' yard, as was pointed out on my post below, except when they escape into your yard and you have a 1 and a 1/2 year old that loves getting into anything new and interesting.

But guess which one it was that got into our yard?

It was the BEES.

That's right, bees are like an adventurous dog that won't stay at home - sometimes they wander off and you have to go find them and bring them back!!

So, the Studly Hubby was at home on Friday innocently eating his lunch when he looked outside to find 10,000 bees swarming in the front yard. They were lost, and didn't know what to do! Eventually they took up residence in a tree next door.

This is a picture of the bee swarm in the tree.

That evening, a mysterious 'bee-catcher' showed up and collected most of the bees and disappeared. Later the next day, the rest of the bees disappeared.

What the heck, we wondered?

Well, a little internet research and asking around led to an unexpected story about bees and, well, babies.

Our neighbors just had a baby, and with a new baby comes a loosening of all that was once controlled, including their pet bees. When a bee hive gets too large, a new queen bee is raised and the old queen splits off with about half the workers and finds a new location. As the bees look for a new location, they don't sting and pose no threat, but they swarm together with their queen in the center and can actually easily be 10,000 bees thick. In Seattle, when your pet bees get loose, you call a 'swarm-catcher', of which there are about 20 in the city, who don't get paid but come catch the bees and take them off somewhere that needs them. Bee-catchers perform their services with a general 'save-the-bees' mentality, and obviously, we should all appreciate them more now that we know who they are!

We definitely appreciate the swarm-catchers!!


Peggy said...

We had a swarm in our garden a few years ago. They went into a nearby hollow tree. My friend/plumber and his dad keep bees and they were really happy to get a call about them. I've never had a plumber come out so fast!

J-Funk said...

haha that's so funny! I guess these bee-catchers in Seattle have normal day jobs too. Bee-catching/keeping probably isn't super lucrative. But it's a good thing people do it!!