by Francisco G. Gómez
Another incredible act of Nature occurred yesterday as we were landscaping at a friend’s home. We arrived around 8:30 in the morning and began to weed, whack and plant flowers. About an hour later, as I was tossing some cuttings into the compost, I heard a very loud buzzing that made me turn around quickly. In just a few seconds the sky was filled with thousands of bees. Nicole was just outside the backyard fence so I called out to her to come as fast as she could. I quickly pulled out my Iphone and began to record the event. We were in total awe of the spectacle before us. The hive was splitting right before our eyes. We weren’t afraid, knowing that bees rarely attack when they are in swarm mode, unless they feel threatened.
The little guys migrated up, about 30 feet into a pine tree in a neighbor’s yard. There, they began to construct a temporary nesting place, while scouts were sent out to find a more suitable place to relocate. They found a new home in just a few hours because Nicole and me returned to our friend’s house at the end of our work day, and the bees up in the pine tree were already gone. We took a look at the hive and there was almost no activity on the outside of the bee box. We wondered about the amount of bees left on the inside of the box and if the initial population had constructed some cells for a virgin queen.
While it is somewhat sad when a swarm happens, it is spectacular to watch; more so for us two Api novices who witnessed it for the very first time. It was, to say the least, a true learning experience in Pachamama’s classroom…hope you get to experience this one day!
Note: To really appreciate the phenomenal sound of the swarm, hook your computer up to a sound system and pump up the jam…totally crazy!