To Bee or not to Bee…a sticky and sweet dilemma!

by Andrea Georgetti, CMCA, CAM
Regional Property Manager
Crowninshield Management Corp. AMO

My story began when I received a call from a unit owner saying that there was a pile of bees swarming around their window and on the ground under the window. They were afraid the bees would get in their home and they would get stung. The owner wanted me to call an exterminator immediately to come and kill the bees.

My first thought was that these must be the wasps I saw at another unit weeks before that were burrowing holes in the ground. I decided I would take a ride to the community to check out the situation because I would not be able to live with myself if they were actually honey bees. Although exterminators legally cannot kill them, not all vendors are alike and will do the right thing. So, before I headed out I reached out to my colleague Nathaniel to ask if he would be willing to accompany me because he actually has beehives at his home and would know, if these were indeed honey bees, what to do.

Sure enough, when we arrived we discovered a swarm of honey bees and the queen was in the grass. I was told that when bees are swarming they are at their most docile state and will not sting. We decided to collect the bees ourselves and transport them to Nathaniel’s home as he happened to have a vacant beehive we could use. Armed with a cardboard box, some gloves and a mesh laundry bag that I had to quickly run to the nearby Walgreens to get, Nathaniel scooped the pile of bees into the box in the hopes he was able to get the queen. After several scoops, the queen was in the box and the bees began to follow.

Once we collected the bees we closed the box, wrapped it in the mesh laundry bag and despite my hesitation, put the box in my car and drove to Nathaniel’s home where his vacant beehive was prepped and awaiting its new occupants. During the drive, a few bees did escape and were flying around my car, which of course had me screaming a little, but we arrived safely and sting-free. The bees have been doing their thing ever since and have made us a lot of honey! I keep one jar on my desk not only as a reminder of what we accomplished that day but also for my tea. 

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