The Latest Buzz on Bees

July 5, 2019

Oh honey, “hive” got a feeling you’re going to love reading these news stories about bees. It’s very much your beeswax.

Bee Listening

About a year ago, a couple living in a house in Granada, in southern Spain, noticed bees in their yard, and were bothered by a low buzzing sound…which got gradually louder. As spring arrived and the weather got warmer, the buzzing got worse — so loud the couple couldn’t sleep. After calls to the local emergency services and the municipal government were met with shrugs, the couple contacted a local beekeeper and hive relocation expert named Sergio Guerrero in May 2019 to help them take care of what they knew was a problem with bees. Guerrero found the bees alright, and why their buzzing reached an undeniable roar around bedtime: A hive consisting of about 80,000 bees had made its home behind the couple’s bedroom wall. Guerrero estimates that by the size, the little city of bees had been growing for at least two years. 

Bee Careful Out There

That couple in Spain dealt with 80,000 bees in their bedroom. Now, imagine four to six times as many of those yellow-and-black-striped stingers…and not confined by the walls of a home. In May 2019, an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 bees took up residence at a busy intersection in Berlin, Germany. Witnesses noticed more and more bees flying around for about 10 minutes, by which time the bees had formed a dark cloud around a metal pole. That brought car and pedestrian traffic to a stop, and police called beekeeper Arezki Kedam, who, with an assistant, sprayed the bees with water to sedate them, and then safely scooped them into a wooden bee box. Kedam theorizes that the bees gave from a hive kept at a nearby apartment building, and that a departing queen had fled after the birth of a new queen. As is customary with bees, two thirds of her old charges followed her as she went out in search of a new home.

Bee Car-ful Out There

Over in Hayle, a small town in southwestern England, another gigantic swarm of bees was on the move. A huge one was doing what comes naturally and in search of a new home, and decided that their ideal new spot to hang out, serve their queen, and make honey was an SUV in the parking lot of an Asda grocery store. When shoppers going in and out of the shop noticed a lot of bee traffic, they fled in terror. Local authorities had already called in a beekeeper and bee expert named Rick Cornwall, to move them. While dressed in head-to-toe protective gear to limit stings, Cornwall carefully used a soft brush to force the bees off the car and into a wooden bee box.