In 2009 we had a swarm of bees that decided to make their home around an empty bird nest in a tree in our front yard. My first inclination was to grab a bottle of bug spray. Now that was my inclination but my husband happened to know of a bee keeper so we called him instead. I had not thought about that swarm until one of our neighbors on our neighborhood website made a plea for help with a bee swarm. I told her about our experience and she was able to call a bee keeper and he came and helped the bees to their new condo.
Watching the beekeeper move the swarm to a new home was quite a learning experience. I had first thought it was a hive but what it was is a swarm. The bee keeper explained to us that they had been kicked out of their prior home so these worker bees went with their queen to find a new home. Honey bee swarms are actually not dangerous. They are only defensive in the vicinity of their nest. At that point they are defensive to protect their young and their food supply. A swarm doesn't have young nor food supplies so they will usually not exhibit defensive behavior unless they are unduly provoked.
As I said this happened in 2009 and watching that process gave me a new appreciation for bees. after talking to the bee keeper and watching the process. It is an intricate process the beekeeper gets the swarm down to the box and then the next step was getting them settled in to their new condo. You can observe the bees scent-fanning at the entrance to signal the entrance to the new nest as the bees march into their new home. There is one point in the movie where you will see the screen go a little crazy as I was getting away from the bees. According to the beekeeper I was safe but I was not taking any chances.
I was amazed at how comfortable the bee keeper was around the bees. We asked him if he got stung often and he told us no. In the video when you see the bee keeper pointing he is pointing out a waggle dance. The bees do a waggle dance to share information.
I was a little sad that a small group got left behind. They huddled as a very small swarm in the tree for a few weeks and then were gone. I hope they found a larger swarm but I'm not sure what happens to the remnant when they miss the move.
I found a website that you can go to and find a bee keeper should you find yourself with a swarm in your front yard. After finding out how social honey bees are I'm glad that we helped them find a new condo. I also found out that there is a shortage of honey bees in the United States so you are being ecologically green and helping our environment also. You always want to buy local honey as it is great for our immune system. I recently started drinking honey water every morning shortly after I get up click here for a post about the benefits of drinking honey water.