Well, today was my most exciting day on the job EVER!  It started out like any other work day – I’d booked a job and was talking with my technician, Jefferson, about the schedule for the day.  I was on my headset and standing at my back screen door looking out into my yard, when suddenly thousands of bees began flying through my yard!  I squealed with delight and told Jefferson that a bee swarm was flying through my yard at that very moment!  I was watching them head towards the ocean and said, “I wonder where they are going?”  I looked that direction and could then see them flying around a palm tree on the lot right next to mine – I knew they were landing!  I grabbed my iPhone and went outside, still talking to Jefferson on my headset the whole time.  I approached the palm tree and at that point, most of the swarm had already congregated, but several were still flying in the air all around me looking for the landing spot.  I shot this video.  If I had realized how very ridiculous I sounded, I would not have said a word!  But you can hear my excitement while talking to Jefferson the whole time.  (And my response at the end when he told me the favorite thing he likes to say to our customers – that I had to count the bees.)  You can see my house and almost completed fence in the background.

After I finished shooting the video, I was standing in the street still watching some of the bees flying around in the air and talking to Jefferson.  Suddenly one bee started buzzing in my hair!  I was screaming and telling Jefferson that one was in my hair and swatting at my head to get her away (and I swatted my headset right off).  When I got my headset back on, Jefferson was laughing (of course).  I really didn’t worry about it because I thought it was just an accidental collision.  But a few more minutes of me standing there talking and another bee came after me and did the same thing – and stung me right at my temple!  So then I started hollering at Jefferson that it stung me as I was walking back to my house.  I asked him what to do (because of course he is a pro) and he said not to take the stinger out with tweezers, because that releases more of the poison – to take a credit card and brush it out.  I didn’t have one handy, so I tried a stiff envelope, but it didn’t work.  So I went upstairs and got my Ecuador cedula (ID) card out of my purse.  By this time it started to swell.  I finally got the stinger out and he told me to put Vick’s Vapor Rub on it (thankfully I had some) and ice as well.  Then he said to take a picture and send it to him.  So here is my worker’s comp injury:

She almost got me in the eye - ouch!

She almost got me in the eye – ouch!

A beautiful swarm!

A beautiful swarm!

Later, when everyone had settled down, I went back out to take a look at the resting swarm.  I still wasn’t afraid of them – I know bees.  It was my own fault I got stung because I was out there talking excitedly and loud.  I should have remembered my lessons from my mentor Winnie the Pooh – you must be quiet with the bees!

A view of the swarm from my deck in the weighed down palm branch on the left.

A view of the swarm from my deck in the weighed down palm branch on the left.

There is no bee shortage here – this is my 2nd swarm and 4th bee encounter since I’ve been here.  Prior to that I’d never had one in my whole life.  But it’s still not every day you just happen to work in the bee business, be talking with your co-worker on the phone, and then end up having a swarm fly in and land right in front of your eyes – all in all a pretty cool day!

(PS – no, my sting isn’t swollen anymore and is just slightly still tender – “’twas only a flesh wound!” 🙂 )

7 thoughts on “BEEautiful!

  1. “you better check the perimeters of your home to make sure there are no cracks or crevices – they can move in in 30 mins – they can build 6 layers of honeycomb in one week and produce honey by the second week” bzzzzzzzz

  2. One of my favorite books is Scouting the Divine. I love the section on bees and the scriptures associated with them. Swarms happen when a bee colony has out grown their hive is looking for a new home. Typically it is some form of cavity. In the bible, bees used a lion carcass and was part of Sampson’s riddle to his groomsmen.

  3. UPDATE: The bee swarm left yesterday, the same way they came – in a cloud through my backyard, sending my fence workers diving, rolling and running for cover! Based on some of their behavior, we ascertained that they were somewhat Africanized and there was concern that they might choose to stay. But yesterday was the first day my workers were here since the bees had arrived and after a few hours of the hammering, the bees decided they’d had enough and vacated (again indicating they were likely Africanized). Glad we didn’t have to resort to “Plan B” to get them to leave! Adios abejas – vaya con Dios!

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