We had a swarm of bees take up residence in our house wall recently (see my previous post here).
Update, Thursday 1st November:
Late morning we were inside and a kitchen client had just left, when John called me urgently over to the spare bedroom window. The bees were swarming! He phoned Brian again and asked if there was anything we could do. Our bee expert suggested if we sprayed them with the garden hose it would make them think it was raining and they would settle down. So in fear and trepidation – because it was very close to the swarm – we managed to get the hose attached to the tap, turn it on and make some gentle ‘fake rain’. I had changed into a long-sleeved top and gloves to avoid being stung if possible. Brian told us later it would have been a good idea to wear a hat too, so they didn’t get into my hair – thankfully they didn’t.
After a few minutes with the hose, the bees got the message and quietened right down. We sprayed them with water a few more times over the next hour or so. Each time before coming back into the house, John checked me over for bees, as several had landed on my arms & legs. I was able to brush them off without incident, but not without some exclamations that I’m sure the neighbors heard, and somewhat of an adrenalin rush! I knew they weren’t aggressive, but was concerned that if one got tangled in my clothing, or I mistakenly leaned or sat on it, I would know about it!
One time I came inside and took my shoes off, and afterwards found a bee clinging to the shoe lace. We quickly put the shoe back outside, and encouraged the bee to fly off and find somewhere else to land. 🙂
Bees swarming (photographed from inside!)
Later that afternoon Brian returned to check on progress, and was very pleased to find his system had worked. It seems that the bees had gradually come out through the first box and were unable to get back in. They then swarmed – and the ‘fake rain’ had helped them find the box with the pollen, which they set up home in as though it was a hive.
While we were out that evening Brian came back and removed both boxes, taking the bees back to his hives. As far as we know, none have returned, and the spare bedroom wall is now quiet.
Oh, and the answer to one of those questions: ‘Why do bees hum?’
Because they’ve forgotten the words… 😉