Saturday, 19 May 2012

Isn't it funny how a bee likes honey?

Winne the Pooh would have been very excited by goings on in our garden yesterday. We're having the outside of the house painted plus insane amounts of other work done (this is what you get for 10 years of virtually zero house maintenance) and I was having a quiet sit down between rounds of tea making and friendly conversation, when I heard a bee buzzing in my living room. The back door was open, so I wasn't surprised. That is, until I realised that it had now been joined by two more, and that in fact the air outside was now thick with honeybees. I shut the door and ran to the front to alert the painter, then went back to watch hundreds and thousands of bees form a swarm in our newly pruned hazel tree.


It's alive!


A wider shot to show the size of the swarm high in the tree. The playhouse has gone to another little girl this morning, and the tatty back fence is soon to be replaced...

I had just found a local beekeeper who wanted to come and catch the swarm and give them a new home when I realised the bees were flying off and the huge mass gradually reduced again until it had disappeared almost as quickly as it arrived. It was one of the most astonishing things I have ever seen, and it turns out it's the third in our village in the last 10 days. Something to do with the sudden dry spell after weeks of rain.

I hope wherever they went they have found a lovely new home. I'm glad they came to visit, albeit briefly.

27 comments:

  1. Crikey - I've never seen anything like that before. There's loads of them! Slightly disturbing to have them right there in your back garden, almost like you've slipped into the making of a 1970's disaster movie!

    ReplyDelete
  2. We had some set up a hive in our garage a while back - it smelled like honey in there for ages after we had them cleared out.

    I think that the fleeting visits might be fairly common, as no one would come out for the bees 'til they had set up shop for more than a day.

    ReplyDelete
  3. So exciting. We had a swarm at the end of the road last year and a couple of unassuming cyclists biked straight through them! Even with the car windows tight shut I could hear them...
    I hope you get lots of local honey with all these busy bees in town.
    Ax

    ReplyDelete
  4. I hope they find a nice new home soon :-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. How exciting! There are several bee hives on our allotments and the bee keeper let my daughter wear his spare suit and help him with the bees - she's braver then me!

    ReplyDelete
  6. oohhh my hubby would have loved that swarm to make another bee hive up, he is rather addicted :-) You have to check your hive every 10 days at least at this time of year to stop them swarming - something to do with the hive making another queen which then slits the hive and off they go :-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. How extraordinary, sounds fantastic to see but yes probably quite a relief that they wanted to go and find another home somewhere else.

    ReplyDelete
  8. wow, what an amazing experience.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Fascinating aren't they? My friend had a swarm on the back wall of her house a few years back.

    ReplyDelete
  10. We have had two swarms on campus in the last two weeks but we are lucky enough to have bee experts in the Biological Sciences Dept. They caught the first swarm and will use it for their research but the second swarm is a rare bumblebee and so everyone was very excited and it has been left to build a nest on the wall of one of our buildings.

    ReplyDelete
  11. We had a swarm in the crab apple outside our back door. Unfortunately, I watched a LOT of 70's disaster movies back in the day and was therefore totally freaked out by it!

    Luckily our neighbour is a beekeeper and caught them for one of his hives.

    ReplyDelete
  12. ooo, That is the best. Our bees swarmed a couple of weeks ago, luckily R was at home that day and ran out in his bee suit to capture them. Now we have an extra hive. Its brilliant. I wish I had been there to see it. You are a lucky ducky. - Annie

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wowsers. A big lump of bees in a tree!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I was pleased to read this as the Bee population in this country has taken a bit of a battering over recent years.

    ReplyDelete
  15. How exciting. I remember seeing a swarm like that in our village a few years ago. Fascinating to watch.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh my - how amazing.

    It's like one of those things that you know could really spell danger, but you can't help looking at it.

    Nina xxx

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh we could have used them in our new hive! K x

    ReplyDelete
  18. I've experienced a swarm once and that was enough for me. It really is an amazing thing to experience if a little scary.

    Mr Moog's friend is a beekeeper and loves a good swarm!

    xx

    ReplyDelete
  19. Oh er. I'd have been a bit scared. Lucky that they buzzed off again.

    ReplyDelete
  20. That is magical beyond belief.

    (See you soon!)

    ReplyDelete
  21. OMG! I've never seen that before. Maybe they were liking the sap from your pruned tree? Amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  22. How wonderful to know that there are some bees about, mind you I'm not sure I'd want them in my sitting room. A sight and a half all the same!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh my goodness! I've never seen anything like that. Our neighbors have hives (just embarking on year 3) and I've only once seen them out in a big group - but they didn't form that big mass. They were just flying angrily all over our back yard for an hour.

    ReplyDelete
  24. we had a swarm once when the boys were little, they were playing in the paddock and i heard this sort of droning noise (no pun intended!) and saw this black swarm coming right towards us - i yelled at the boys and we all shot indoors and the bees settled in our apple tree for about half an hour and then, to my relief, went on somewhere else! x

    ReplyDelete
  25. Missed this. I remember seeing in a swarm in my Aunt's Northamptonshire garden as a child. Not my best ever day, I was later stung by a wasp and then comforted with a milkshake made with orange squash and milk (!) that curdled and made me sick! I've never forgotten my amazement watching the bees though.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Golly! I bet you were relieved that their visit was only brief! Lxx

    ReplyDelete
  27. Wow! How amazing! I'd be afraid they all stuck to the wet paint, lol!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for leaving me some feedback! I love reading your comments and I do my best to reply to them. If Blogger gives me your email address, or if I can find one on your blog I'll try to reply by email; otherwise I'll reply in the comments here.