CALGARY- A couple in the Alberta town of Blackfalds is dealing with some unexpected house guests – a swarm of thousands of bees.
“All of a sudden we heard something overhead come in and it was these bees,” says Wade Morgan. “They are nesting, or trying to make a nest, by the thousands. We were just re-roofing and we don’t know what to do; it is incredible.”
Cheryl Morgan suspects the domed shape of the couple’s home attracted the bees.
“Hopefully they don’t think they are going to turn our dome house into one humungous beehive.”
Honey bee swarms are common in the months of June and July, when colonies split into two as a survival strategy.
“Bee keepers’ number one goal is to manage the hives to keep bees from swarming,” says Eliese Watson, who runs Apiaries and Bees for Communities, a Calgary-based group that promotes urban bee keeping.
But she adds it isn’t always possible.
“Now sometimes bees swarm; they naturally want to. And when that occurs it can be quite spectacular to witness.”
The good news for the Morgans is – bees are gentle at this time of year.
“Before they leave, those bees will gorge on honey and pollen. And that’s why when you capture a swarm, they are very gentle and calm. They have full stomachs. It’s like having a fist fight after a turkey dinner.”
Watson stresses the importance of bees as pollinators for much of our food supply, and says life wouldn’t be as sweet without them.
A volunteer with Watson’s group is helping to remove the swarm from the Morgans’ home.
-with files from Carolyn Kury de Castillo