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Not Your Ordinary Buick – Check Out This Cluster of Bees Inside a Car!

The phone rang about 2:30 today and the caller identified himself as the manager of the local fast food restaurant.

He had found my name on the internet as ‘somebody who takes care of bees’ and said:’There is a customer’s car out here with bees’, so I headed over.

Now, I’ve been keeping bees on and off since I was 12 ( 4-H project ) and I’ve seen bees on cars’ radio antennas, tires, bumpers, and outside mirrors.  But I was not prepared for this:

Bee Buick

Inside, clustered on the ‘grab-handle’ at the left rear.

I told the owner I’d be right back and went home and grabbed a small disposable hive that I use for catching smaller swarms, put some frames inside after smearing some honey on them, and went back out.

By now there was a crowd, so I explained what I was going to do and handed my camera to one of the bystanders and told him to fire away.

I eased the left rear door open SLOWLY and about 1/4 of the cluster stayed on the door frame;

Easy does it

And by positioning the hive underneath, got most of them into it

Your new home awaits, bees

Next was the remaining 3/4 of the cluster, I positioned the hive under them and gently worked the brush between them and the handle, and most dropped into the hive.


Of course, a few didn’t get the message and had to be persuaded off the window

There’s always a few who didn’t get the memo

There were a few on the seat, and by placing the hive with the entrance close, they went in

Everybody, off the seat !

Finally, there were a few hundred that had been attracted to the outside, and didn’t realize that there was a rear window between them and the Real World.  We wedged the hive up on the back of the rear seat, and this picture really shows one of the truly amazing phenomenons of honeybee behavior.

When hiving a swarm, if all goes well, you will see anywhere from a couple to a couple dozen bees near the entrance with their tails way up in the air, fanning their wings like crazy.  You will also notice a faint odor almost like a ripe banana.  This is a scent they give off that attracts the remaining bees to the new home.

In the picture below, the fanning is really evident.

Bees ‘fanning’ to say ‘Come on in, this place looks GREAT !!’

Got almost all of them in the hive, set it in the back of my Jeep Liberty, drove the gentleman’s car home as he was fearful of getting stung by one of the couple dozen left inside, his grand-daughter brought me back and took him home.

The hive is in the back yard; with luck it will develop into something over the summer.

Several people asked me ‘Where did they come from?’.  I had a call late last week about possibly ‘saving’ some bees in a tree slated to be cut down today, about 300 yards away; unfortunately the tree people did not want to make a second trip after cutting down to the nest and letting me trap them out, so the tree came down this morning.

I think they may have abandoned the old hive when it was cut.  But who knows….just like who knows WHY they clustered INSIDE a car?

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