The Days the Bees Swarmed

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Swarthmore Monthly Meeting has had a honeybee colony for many years. They live high on the eaves on the side of the meetinghouse. On Monday, April 18, the teachers noticed the number of bees had greatly increased and were agitated. We called the College and asked that a beekeeper come right away to assess the situation. We were afraid the bees might come down to the playground and sting the children or teachers. On Tuesday, when Mary left work at 4 PM, she noticed the bees were missing. But where were they?

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On Wednesday, we found them in one of the lilac bushes next to the playground and sidewalk. The college jumped into action, and Ralph Thayer met the beekeeper in back of the Meetinghouse.

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The beekeeper told us that the hive had gotten so large that it was splitting into two hives, and the bees were temporarily in the bushes until their scouts found another location. He showed his equipment to the fascinated children.

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The beekeeper then put a box next to the hive and waited until the Queen moved into the box; once she entered the box, the worker bees quickly followed her. The beekeeper then took the box away. No harm was done to the honeybees, which will get a new, safe home.

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The bees enter the box.