Backyard bee swarm gives Ivins family buzz of excitement

A swarm of honey bees gave an local family some unexpected excitement on Saturday night in Ivins, Utah, April 2, 2016 | Photo by Don Gilman, St. George News

IVINS — A local family got some unexpected and unwanted visitors Saturday evening when a swarm of honey bees descended onto rosebushes in their yard.

A swarm of honey bees gave an local family some unexpected excitement on Saturday night in Ivins, Utah, April 2, 2016 | Photo by Don Gilman, St. George News
A swarm of honey bees gave an local family some unexpected excitement on Saturday night in Ivins, Utah, April 2, 2016 | Photo by Don Gilman, St. George News

Ivins City resident and council member Jenny Johnson was mowing her lawn in her backyard Saturday when she heard an unusual sound.

“I heard something that sounded like water and so I looked up trying to figure out where the water was coming from because we’d had a water leak earlier in the day,” Johnson said. “Looked up and there was just a huge, black cloud of swarming bees and there were thousands of them. So I ran around to the front, into my front door and called my brother, called my sister-in-law and told her not to let the kids out because there were bees swarming.”

In her 20 years of being on the Fire Department, Johnson said, she had never seen anything like it. She called the department and one of the crew knew a beekeeper, who was then called.

Enter Scott Bringhurst, amateur beekeeper and Johnson’s hero of the hour. He said:

So, got a phone call that there was a swarm of bees over here in Ivins and I have the equipment and I thought ‘let me come over and see if instead of killing them we can relocate them.’ So I brought a spare hive over and tried to coax them in a new house.

Because the spare hive had previously kept a hive, there was still leftover honey and wax, which attracted the nuisance swarm, Bringhurst said. With his bee suit on, he shook the rose bush; and the bees, after a few minutes of agitation, found the new hive to their liking and quickly settled in. Bringhurst said he was planning on leaving the bee box at the Johnson house for a few hours before retrieving it.

The bees were not Africanized hybrids known for aggression. If they had been, Bringhurst said, he would have backed out of trying to capture the swarm and they would have been exterminated.

Bringhurst has been a backyard beekeeper for the last 3-4 years and said he took classes to learn his craft.

Email: dgilman@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

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