The Great Outdoors


Bill Stark, of Snowfall Road called The Waynedale News on Tuesday, May 27. He found a swarm of bees as he was trimming his bushes. Bill called a beekeeper to collect the swarm and wondered if I would like to take some pictures.

I got there about the same time as beekeeper J.P. Jones. The weather was turning misty and grey and Jones wanted to collect the swarm before it got wet. He pulled his van up in the neighbor’s driveway and removed an old wooden box with a portable vacuum attached to it.

We walked out to the bushes and located a mass of bees about the size of a football.

Bill was concerned about handling bees without the proper equipment but Jones explained that swarm bees wouldn’t be a problem. Jones said, “When the parent hive gets too full, or the tree they are living in runs out of space, the bees load up with honey, take the old queen and leave to start a new colony. When they are full of honey, they cannot bend their body to sting you.”

Jones started up the sweeper box and began sweeping up the bees. He explained that there were about 4K-6K bees in the swarm and the queen was somewhere in the middle of the ball. He was hoping to get the queen, but if for some reason she didn’t get swept up with the others, he could buy a new queen for about fifteen dollars. “When I get the bees back home, I will place them in a hive. I will then move some brood larva from another hive which will insure that the swarm will stay in the new hive to care of the brood bees.”

Jones lives on Harrison Street and raises bees as a hobby. He has been bee-keeping for 25 years and usually gives away the honey to his neighbors.

If you find a swarm of bees don’t worry, they are not dangerous. They will only be there as long as it takes for the scout bees to find a new place for the hive or, you can also call a beekeeper who will be more than happy to give them a new place to live. J.P. Jones can be reached at 745-9724. He can sweep them up for you.

The Waynedale News Staff
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