This is the second time a swarm has found us.
The first time we were living in San Francisco and on a hot, spring day I returned home to a strange whapping sound. I searched around the house to find that there were bees, dozens of them, hurling their little bodies against the glass windows. What the??? I thought. As I looked around, I saw that they were everywhere, whapping against the windows like in a B-movie thriller.
I made sure all the doors were closed (and locked. You know, just in case) and my breath caught when I saw the plume of smoke in the backyard. It was a 6-foot-wide , black cloud hovering over the grass. At closer inspection, I noticed the cloud was made of BEES. BEES!
The cloud was also moving, slowly, next door.
I knocked on the neighbor’s door. “Hi. I just wanted to tell you that there are a lot of bees in your backyard.”
“Okay, thanks,” the guy said, starting to close the door in my face. “No wait, like 50,000 bees. Roughly.”
We walked through his house and saw that they had gathered in a tree in his yard. It was like a gigantic Rumple Stiltskin type beard hanging from a tree. “We’re going to call someone to get them out, ” I assured him.
The bee club guy, dressed in what looked an astronaut suit came over with a cardboard box, a large stick and duct tape. He tapped the limb of the tree, holding the box below it until the beard fell, whole, with a thunk into the cardboard. Then he quickly duct taped it closed.
In the last couple of days, I have been noticing a lot of bees on our back patio. “Must be the season,” I told myself. But yesterday I heard a familiar drone. A loud, jet engine of a hum coming from the shed where our bicycles are parked. It couldn’t be… I thought.. Again?
I missed the big black cloud, but this time we were the recipients of the swarm. They are camped out in the apple tree on our patio and even though it’s pretty hot, I am terrified to open the back door.
The bee removal guy (live removal, hooray!) came by yesterday. He walked right into the shed, bees whizzing all around him and said, “Yep. Smells like pheremones in here. We’ll have to come back in the morning when they’re all in the hive.”
And so it goes. Soon the bees will be gone.
When I wrote about this on Facebook yesterday several people commented on how bees choose their homes carefully, how it’s a good omen to be chosen.
Someone even sent me the animal totem for bee, what it symbolizes, and it said something about accomplishing the impossible. I love that and hope it’s true because there are a few things in my life that feel impossible right now, and I sure would love to accomplish them.
But for now, I will welcome the swarm- the loud thrum, the chaos, the sweetness + honey.