WESTFIELD, NJ — It was like something out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie. That’s how Wally Parker described the scene when he and his wife, Linda, discovered an enormous swarm of honey bees clustered together and hanging from the dogwood tree in front of their Kimball Avenue home recently.
“So here was this large swarm, just hanging on the end of a branch with no hive, just thousands of bees clustered on a branch,” Parker said. “Then I went out for a while, came back. They were gone from the branch, but buzzing all around the upper half of our house — quite bizarre and a little disarming."
And alarming, considering Parker is allergic to bee stings and carries an EpiPen with him if he goes someplace where he might get stung.
A short while later, the bees were clustered again, he said, only this time at the peak of their roof.
“And then finally they moved on to a hole in the tulip tree in front of our house, about 35 feet above the ground and seem to be staying there for the moment,” Parker said.
To find out what was happening, the couple called Mickey the Beekeeper, a local professional who offers to remove and save bees for free.
“Mickey is a great guy and obviously cares very much about bees, especially honey bees as their population is shrinking to what is now a critical state,” Parker said.
The beekeeper confirmed their suspicion that these were honey bees and told them that, if they swarmed again, the couple should call him immediately to come over and collect them, Parker said.
For now, they will let the bees roam free.
“If the bees stay up in the tree, we will just let them be good neighbors and ignore them,” Parker said. “If they swarm again in a lower area, we will call Mickey right away and he will come and retrieve them and get them into a hive.”