Honeybees swarm on front yard tree

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By Amber Coulter

Vonna Gowen and Albert Stith of Elizabethtown discovered Tuesday that their front yard was a convenient layover for a swarm of hundreds of honeybees.
They had just backed a box truck into their driveway at 285 Nancy Drive so they could unload some things. Gowen headed inside to the kitchen, and Stith to the end of the driveway to retrieve their mail.
Gowen, who says she always has had good hearing,  said she could tell something was happening at about 4:45 p.m.
“I heard this strange noise,” she said. “It was a low hum. I looked out the window and thought, ‘Oh, crap.’ I thought it was an invasion.”
What she saw was a swarm of bees darting around the front yard, slowly settling onto one of two recently planted Chinese elm trees.
She yelled a warning to Stith. He didn’t hear her correctly and was just as surprised when he turned around to see the swarm.
He went to the back entrance of the house, and the bees seemed to become dormant on the tree.
Gowen called an exterminator who told her she was describing honeybees. She should try to prevent them from being destroyed, she says the insect specialist advised.
A beekeeper from Hart County offered to pick up the bees if they were still in the tree by Wednesday afternoon.
But the bees came to life, covered the whole yard and buzzed away before noon Wednesday.
Gowen says she’s sorry the man didn’t get to take the bees, but thinks maybe they’ll do well on their own.
Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746 acoulter@thenewsenterprise.com.