A swarm of honey bees is rounded up on Carr Street

Beekeeper David Millsaps examines a branch holding hundreds of bees before dropping them into his bee box on Carr Street on Friday.

A swarm of hundreds of honey bees settled in a front yard on Carr Street late Friday afternoon, on their way to a new place to live. A bush at 924 Carr provided an opportune spot to take a rest. Before the little pollinators were ready to take off and resume the search, College Hill beekeeper and good neighbor David Millsaps arrived to round them up and add them to his hives.

David said honey bees swarm when a hive gets too crowded and a group leaves to find a new home. This swarm arrived around mid-afternoon and formed a massive, loudly buzzing vortex near the bush where they gradually settled. Most of the bees formed a core several feet in diameter and several feet high with others orbiting as far out as the street and the porch of the house next door. It shrank down to nothing over the course of 30 minutes or so as the bees settled down upon each other in the bush. Swarming honey bees aren’t aggressive and won’t attack unless they feel threatened, David said while he collected them.

David explains the process to homeowners Lynn Gagnier and Dave Hemm.
David checks a frame that still contains honey from an earlier hive. The honey will nourish the swarm, which needs food after its flight in search of a new place to live.
The first step is to trim some branches to reach the resting swarm.
The inner branches holding the bees get clipped and dropped down to the bee box.
Once most of the bees have settled into the box, David replaces the last frame.
As he brushes a few stragglers out of his hair, David and the swarm are ready to go.
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