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Wednesday, August 09, 2017

I had this message from Geri Durka-Pelok today on Sandy Beach Road:

Last Friday I was visited by a large swarm of bees who decided that a lilac bush in my yard was a nice place to land. Knowing how important it is to save as many bees nowadays as possible, I searched and found a beekeeper, Don Varney, from Montpelier. Don was knowledgeable, gentle and totally in tune with the swarm. He told me that swarms in August very seldom make it in the wild because of the amount of work it takes to create a new home hive. He took the majority of the swarm home to a new hive on Friday, saying the remaining bees would leave in a couple of days to return to the original hive.

Well, that didn’t happen!  Sunday, found the bees creating a small swarm under the lilac tree. Don advised doing a couple of things but the swarm stayed, in the cold and rain. The possibility was raised that in the original swarm had been two queens, rare but not unheard of. So once again, Don made the trip and gathered bees (which he put in the cab of his truck where it was warm for the ride home. Definitely braver than me!).

I don’t know if there is any place to post Don’s phone number (802-522-4929) but should anyone have a wild swarm show up in their yards, I would highly recommend him. There is no cost involved and Don is happy to share his knowledge and safely remove the bees.
I have never seen anything like this happen, but I'm glad Geri took the trouble to find someone who could take proper care of those bees.  I looked up the process of swarming and found quite a lot of information.  Click here to read about it.

I wonder if the warming trend we are generally experiencing might have something to do with the bees swarming this late in the summer and they might even manage to create a new home hive before really cold weather sets in.  It's a complicated process - but nature sometimes needs a little help from humans, and this was likely one of those times. 

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