Warm and swarm rhyme, probably for a reason.
Our warm winter going into a mild spring has bees populating quickly and when too many bees are in the hive a third of them will get kicked out! What to do? The queen will lead the way to a new home (a new queen takes over the old hive) and off they go in search of -- MY FENCE!
At first, I thought to leave them for security’s sake. No one is going to come through that gate with those bees guarding the backyard. And, after all, everything I googled said they will move on after a few days, UNLESS they find a nice dark home, like inside my fence. And that’s what it looks like they’re doing. Here’s the back view:
And a close up shows the knothole which the bees are using as a front door. Clever fellas.
Bees can be dangerous when defending their queen and hive, but they are a huge cog in the wheel of pollination and our food chain. Bee populations are important. We need bees. Here’s a great Washington Post article about just why you should relocate bees if they are on your property and should NOT destroy them. So I called 3 Bees Guys for the hive haul away (for which I paid full boat: no free-bee, so to speak). Of course, until we removed the fence boards I had no idea what we’d find. Shane arrived and we were soon looking at 3,000 bees!
Shane told me these bees are not yet aggressive, but to never swat a bee (then they WILL get aggressive). That hive is guarding the queen. A bee lives 37 days, so the queen has to keep producing eggs to keep the colony going, that’s why they are so protective. She is the mama of them all. Shane also mentioned that the bee population is going up now thanks to good publicity and Harris County has made it ILLEGAL to exterminate bees. You have to rescue and relocate them. All it takes is a good vacuum.
The bees and their queen are safely stored away:
They’ll be relocated to a local bee yard where they will live a happy, honey-filled, Frank-free life! Thanks 3 Bee Guys for a bee-utiful ending!