Swarming Honeybees

Recently my company BoomTown has begun to get involved with The Bee Cause Project.  A group of us went out to The Center for Birds of Prey in Awendaw, SC a few weeks back to help build some raised flower beds to provide flowers for the honeybee hives that were to be placed there soon.  Although we weren’t able to finish the flower beds that day it was a fun adventure (of which I still have a bump on my shin to prove I was there!).  Not to mention, all the ladies got to use tools we had never used before as well as learn some new skills!

Before the adventure of raised flower beds began, the Executive Director of The Bee Cause Project, Tami Enright, came to our office one afternoon for some honey tasting (yum!) and a talk on honeybees and what The Bee Cause Project is doing in the Lowcountry.  Having grown up knowing that my Grandfather used to be a beekeeper, it has always intrigued me, yet I hadn’t taken the time to seek out more information on this interesting hobby previously.  It was really interesting learning about the queen honeybee and the worker honeybees and their roles within the hive.  I will not attempt to spout off a bunch of honeybee facts, as I will inevitably give you all the wrong information.  However, one interesting aspect of honeybee colonies is something called “swarming”.  Long story short, when a hive gets too full (too many worker bees!) the original queen along with a large group of the worker honeybees leave the colony.  When they leave, they will typically fly in a clump, as the queen (a very plump queen indeed) has trouble flying, so they fly around her to help her out.  Since she must rest often, they end up swarming in a clump, on branches.  If you ever see a large clump of honeybees just hanging out on a branch, this is most likely what you are witnessing!

Well, odd enough, a short time after we learned all about honeybees and their crazy swarming, we had a honeybee swarm right next to the office!  When I heard this I just had to go and check it out.

Swarming Bees

Swarming honeybees in Downtown Charleston – 4.10.14

It was very surreal.  The buzzing was somewhat disconcerting, yet you knew the honeybees weren’t going to bother you.  If you ever happen to see a honeybee swarm, go check it out (but not too close!), it was pretty amazing to see in person!

Swarming Bees in Downtown Charleston

Closer view of swarming honeybees – 4.10.14

What are some awesome and interesting things you have witnessed in nature?

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