Hey there! Wanted to know a little more about the bees on a fire hydrant story. Were they stuck there or just in the way? If they were stuck, how does that happen? Do you have any pictures of the Bee Bucket filled with bees? How come bees like lemongrass oil? I know it's a Lotta questions but I'm very interested in this. Thank you!!
They weren’t stuck. They were doing what is known as “swarming” where half of the colony of bees breaks off with the queen (they leave a new queen behind don’t worry) and they go find a new home. Usually because their first home became too full of honey and bees!
They picked the fire hydrant because it was in a relatively open area and up off the ground (although not much). They just sit there with the queen and send out “scouts” to go find a new home for them while they wait. If the scouts find a suitable hive, they all pick up and move in!
Honeybees like lemongrass because it smells very similar to a special chemical that they emit called “nazonov pheromone” which makes a place smell like “home” to the bees. If you put lemongrass oil on something, it makes the bees think “hey! This place smells like a bee home! Let’s go here!”
It’s a very interesting phenomenon, swarming, and honestly gets me (and most beekeepers) very excited because it usually means FREEBEES!