What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Pile of 2500 bees on the road
June 23, 2010
We found this CRAZY large pile of bees on the side of the road in SE Portland on June 22. There was also a group of them on a branch in a bush nearby, but not so large as the group on the ground. They were very busy, did not seem agitated or aggressive, and gave the impression that they had business to do there. Have you ever seen such a thing? What are they doing? It was our first warm, non rainy day in a long time… maybe they were basking in the sun like all the other Portlanders! PS – I have read your site for years and am excited to finally have something I think is worthy of posting!
Amanda G
Portland, OR

Honey Bee Swarm

Hi Amanda,
We are quite pleased with your submission.  It is the first new posting we are making since returning from our holiday in Ohio (though we believe, prior to leaving, we postdated two letters to go live today).  These Honey Bees are swarming.  When the hive gets too large, the workers will begin raising a new group of queens by feeding ordinary larvae on a special diet of royal jelly.  The reigning queen departs from the hive with half of the workers prior to the emergence of the heir apparent.  You witnessed a swarm of Honey Bees in search of a new location for their hive.  While we are uncertain why the Bees have congregated on the road, the small group in the tree are probably protecting the queen.

Honey Bee Swarm: Protecting the Queen

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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