Bees, Bees Everywhere!

2 08 2008

Ok, maybe not everywhere. But LOTS of them in one place. I’ve been so saddened and concerned about the dwindling bee population over the past few years, so I smile and give thanks every time I see a bee these days. Imagine how happy I would have been to have witnessed this scene a couple hours ago: a swarm of bees following a wayward queen down 14th Street. This picture and story are from Mike Chino of Inhabitat, via Mission Mission. Thanks, guys! Makes me happy…

ADDENDA: Ok, it’s a day later and I’m having second thoughts about this post. While I like the IDEA of a swarm of bees thriving anywhere, even in the middle of the urban landscape, the reality for us humans is a little scary! I take back what I said. I probably would NOT have been happy seeing those bees. I definitely would have run down the street the other way while thinking “I can’t believe this!” and pulling out my camera to take a picture to share with you.

UPDATE 8/6 – There’s been some interesting conversation about this on Mission Mission, including comments from the car owner and the woman whose home the car was parked in front of. One important thing to note is that if you’re really interested, or if you ever come across a swarm of bees, don’t be afraid – they’re not dangerous to humans when they’re swarming! (see below) The people to contact are at the San Francisco Beekeepers’ Association.

Here’s some especially fascinating input from Karen Peteros, the emergency beekeeper who showed up on the scene:

This is the beekeeper, Karen, here. Wendy and Carowner were real troopers. As I explained many times to everyone who was crowded around and watched, when honey bees “swarm” it is a good thing for two reasons:

1. It means the colony from which it emerged is doing well and out grew its space. The queen leaves with approx 50% of the bees in the colony, and they find a place to land before figuring out where they will go to start a new nest. Why this group decided to land on the car is unknown. Meantime, back at the hive, a new queen (daughter of the queen who left) has emerged from her queen cell. She will head-up the other 50% of the colony and perpetuate it.

2. When honeybees swarm, they are very gentle and non-defensive. They have no honey stores or brood (baby bees before hatching) to protect, and they have gorged on honey before they left their hive, filling their special “honey stomachs” because they don’t know exactly when they will begin to set up housekeeping at their new location. They are like us after we’ve eaten a big meal (like T-day), full and kinda relaxed.

I took the bees back to my house and installed them into a hive. I will check on them in a few days to see if we got the queen or not. If we did not, she is likely still in the air vent of the car and will either leave or die.




3 responses

3 08 2008

happy! egad, this was horrifying!

3 08 2008

Uh, yeah! I guess I missed that part! Doh!

20 06 2013
...a Beehive here Inside My Heart

Seeing a swarm is one of the most amazing sights! My hives have swarmed twice & I was lucky enough to see the 2nd one & catch them, which became a second hive. bees+SF=love!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: