Bee Swarm

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Renzatic, Jun 2, 2016.

  1. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #1
    I've never seen anything like this before in my life. Since I'm so easily amused, and constantly starved for attention, I have to share my new experience with as many people as I can.

    It all started about an hour ago. I'm goofing around in my study (doing nothing dirty, sorry to disappoint), when I suddenly notice this strange noise coming from just outside the window. An old, malfunctioning fan would be the best way to describe it, like an all encompassing, low level hum. My curiosity piqued, I pull back the blinds to see what the commotion is.

    I was expecting one of my weird neighbors getting up to something that could only be described as no good. What I saw were hundreds upon hundreds of bees swarming about in my side yard, just outside the house.

    I have never, in person, seen this many bees concentrated together in such a relatively small area before in my life. It was...well...neat and concerning in equal measures. My first impulse was, of course, to rush outside and see it up close and personal. Fortunately my second impulse, that driving need to not die horribly via massive killer bee bloodlust spree, kicked in before I could get my shoes on. I opted to watch them from the window instead.

    Over the next hour, I watched as the swarm slowly came together, collecting along the branches of a little pine tree just on the edge of the yard. Once I noticed they started settling down, I decided to throw a little caution to the wind, and investigate it boots on the ground.

    This is what I saw. I don't know what it is, or what they're doing, but there's something vaguely concerning about it. It probably has something to do with the fact I now have about 900+ stinging insects clumped up in a tree just a stones throw away from where I live.

    Has anyone ever seen anything like this?
     
  2. chown33 macrumors 604

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    #2
    I've seen that a few times. It's cool, and the sound is kinda neat.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swarming_(honey_bee)

    The bees are basically on a road trip, looking for a new place to hang. They might just be setting up a crash pad for the night (yay), as opposed to moving in permanently (boo).

    If they're still there tomorrow, then call your fire dept. and ask if they'll take care of it. They might suggest calling a beekeeper that will come and take them away. Or they might break out the hazmat suits and the foam gun and sluice those suckers down.

    If you didn't use a telephoto lens, and they let you get that close, then they might not be Africanized bees. Most bees in my area are, and there have already been a few deaths so far this year, so if I see something like that then I'd stay at least 100 ft. away. I'd also keep all pets or animals indoors. Cats usually figure it out fast, but small yappy dogs will be toast.
     
  3. Renzatic thread starter Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #3
    They're not Africanized bees. Though I wasn't that close to the swarm, probably within 20 feet or so, I was close enough for them to swarm if there were anything but bog standard European bees. That, mixed with the fact they never once swarmed the one cat who stupidly hung about, watching them do their thing, enforces my belief that I'm fairly well safe on that front.

    I'll call the fire department tomorrow if they're still around. At the very least to see if they break out the hazmat suits. I could use some more weird excitement around here.
     
  4. Zenithal macrumors 68040

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    #4
    If it's not swarming, it could be they're attacking an enemy. I watched a Nat Geo special a year ago where it showed bees swarming and vibrating in place. They generated enough heat over a few hours to kill another predator. I think this was the video.

     
  5. Renzatic thread starter Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #5
    Oh, god. What if they want to do that to me?
     
  6. Zenithal macrumors 68040

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    #6
    That would be them helping others for the good of the people. A charity if you will. :p
     
  7. Renzatic thread starter Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #7
    No. It'd be an unbearable tragedy the likes of which humanity has yet experienced. I'm that important. :mad:
     
  8. Zenithal macrumors 68040

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    #8
    I'd be inclined to agree but there would be severe irony when taking my username into consideration.
     
  9. millerj123 macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    This year, I've had three swarms of bees on the front of my house. On the first one, we noticed them in the morning, and by the time the bee guy had come the next day, there were three honeycombs being formed, each bigger than a human hand.

    Our neighbor had one about a week later, we had another full swarm about 3 days after that. I swept up about 2.5 gallons of bees. And then the final swarm about two weeks after that. Once they take hold, things move very quickly. Luckily, they were just on the surface.

    We grow a variety of crops, so generally, bees are around all the time. I do not want them on my house though.
     
  10. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #10
    What ever you do, if they are not Africanized, please don't kill them without before seeing if there are other options. We have a honey bee crisis going on in this country. If they decide to stay in your tree, call around and find someone, oh I don't know, the county or beekeeper society, and maybe you'll find someone willing to come get them ideally for free who does not kill them.
     
  11. Zenithal macrumors 68040

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    #11
    And beekeepers usually won't charge you. Be happy it isn't a hornet's nest. No one wants to deal with that.
     
  12. Scepticalscribe, Jun 3, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #12
    Great story, @Renzatic.

    I'm with @Huntn on this one; it is not as though there are too many bees in the world, the opposite, if anything. Anyway, rather than the fire brigade, get a qualified beekeeper who may be able to locate the queen and persuade them to migrate elsewhere.

    I've never seen a swarm of bees, but I have friends (in France) who keep bees, - producing their own honey - and - as a teenager when I first stayed with them, I had great fun donning the bee keeping gear as they went to considerable pains to explain everything to me.

    More recently, a few years ago, a colony of wasps moved in to make themselves cosy in our eaves. It was only when I realised that there appeared to be dozens of wasps, their numbers rapidly increasing, - and tracked them visually to the eaves - that I realised what was happening.

    That required a visit from the professionals, and it was extraordinary to behold. They came once for a briefing, and to take their bearings. Then, a follow up visit occurred complete with the appropriate equipment and gear - which was awesome.

    We were instructed to stay indoors and I watched from a window. The key was the queen; (and until then, I hadn't known that wasps, like bees, have queens). If she could be persuaded that moving abode was a good idea, the swarm would follow her, rather than defend her to the death. Eventually, she moved and the swarm moved away (elsewhere) with her - an extraordinary sight.
     
  13. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #13
    Bees are beautiful creatures in isolation. I love to photograph them each summer time. However this many would call for my 500mm lens!
    As others have said bees are generally in decline, so killing them off is not the right approach.
    My dad has a few hives and likes nothing more than a call from a neighbor who has a nest to move.
    Just call your local bee keeper if they are still there in a while.
     
  14. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #14
    My experience is that a hornet nest is easy to kill as long as it's assessable with streaming insecticide applied to the opening.
     
  15. haxrnick macrumors 6502a

    haxrnick

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    #15
    It was nice knowing you, @Renzatic. I'll miss you in PRSI. Godspeed.
     
  16. Renzatic thread starter Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #16
    Good news! They've decided to move on to greener pastures, which saves me the trouble of finding a way to deal with them, either brutally or humanely. Don't know when the migration began, but they were gone by the time I got back to the house around 11.

    Though now I'm left wondering if this isn't some ploy. That they're now biding their time elsewhere, waiting for some opportune moment...
     
  17. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #17
    Not unless the queen fancies you.
     
  18. Renzatic thread starter Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #18
    They'll pry my royal jelly from my cold, dead hands. :mad:
     
  19. Zenithal macrumors 68040

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    #19
    I'm not that bloody courageous.
     
  20. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #20
    The nest I dealt with with was low, (7' off the ground) and I used wasp/hornet spray that shot a stream up to 10', right into the entrance. There was only one way in and out of the nest, and when hit, the bees drop immediately.
     
  21. Zenithal macrumors 68040

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    #21
    Bees? In a hornets nest? You genocidal bee killer.
     
  22. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #22
    They are related, but technically I should not have called them bees. :p
     
  23. Gutwrench macrumors 65816

    Gutwrench

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    #23
    Duh, it's obviously a piñata.
     
  24. Zenithal macrumors 68040

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    #24
    You're a monster!


    /Renzatic.

    In jest, of course.
     
  25. Renzatic thread starter Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #25
    You know I blame all this on you, right? :mad:
     

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