Over the past few weeks we have had two or three honeybee swarms here at the nursery. If you are an avid gardener or outdoor enthusiast, you're probably accustomed to bee swarms, especially during this time of the year. At the nursery, these swarms immediately become a huge curiosity.
Did you see all of those bees? Are they angry? Are they looking for a person to attack? Are they lost? Are they looking for their hive?
To most, the sight of a bee swarm induces unusual, often contradictory emotions — beautiful and frightening at the same time. In others, it causes a feeling of curiosity and appall, like driving by a bad accident. You want to look, but at the same time you're afraid you might see something you don't want to.
A swarm of honeybees is capable of reducing the most fearless person to a shaking bowl of jelly. It exhibits sheer terror. During last Saturday's afternoon's swarm at the nursery we overheard comments of "call the fire department," "call the police" and "hurry, get some insecticide." Mothers grabbed their children. Others shrieked, hurrying for cover.