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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hopefully you can help. Yesterday my son literally ran into a huge swarm of bees while getting onto 360 from US183 in Austin TX. The swarm was so large that he could not avoid driving right through it; luckily all of his windows were closed. There were bees all over the front of his car, stuck or caught in different places, but many of them that were alive and not stuck somehow stayed with his car all the way to his destination and then started buzzing around his car when he got out, and they were still there when he got back. Then when he came home and got out they started buzzing around his car again, angry! Guess you can't blame them after being barreled into like that but isn't that strange? Do regular bees travel around the highway in large swarms....could these have been killer bees? Should swarms of this size be reported to anyone? If he had been on a motorcycle he would have been in big trouble!
Thanks for any information.
Laura
 

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They were likely on their way to their new home when your son ran into them. :cry:

The stragglers he brought home will either find a local hive they may be allowed to join up with or, and this is the more likely scenario, they will perish all alone without their queen mother and their sisters. Goodness, I hope the queen didn't get hit.

-james
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
James, thanks for your response. I've been searching for info on swarms and am amazed at how little info came up....mostly ads on swarm moving. I did just read that in the spring and summer hives get too large and so a swarm will try to find a new home so as you mentioned that is probably what it was. It is sad that so many surely did perish. Any ideas on how so many of the surviving bees stayed with the car while it was traveling....and how, after the car was parked for awhile, they knew to leave with the car when it was on the move again? Was it simply because they were staying with the dead bees that were still on the car? That behavior is fascinating to me. Why do they fly so low which makes them so vulnerable?
 

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A lot of times the queen that is with the swarm hasn't flown since her mating flights as a virgin (this could be one up to two years). The bees will have stopped feeding her several days in advance of the swarm issuing to get her ready (slim) for flying. When she first takes flight, she usually doesn't travel very far from her original hive/home, resting within a hundred yards(?) or so until scouts find a suitable home.. This swarm you have mentioned may have had a queen that simply was not adept at flying well.
 

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Laural-

I'm glad you are intrigued enough to spend a little time learning about bees. Honey bees are, indeed, fascinating creatures. Of course, a good starting place for learning is right here on beesource.com. There are also lots of youtube videos about swarms and honeybees that are quite educational. Have fun.

-James
 

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Laura, long time Austinite, new to beekeeping. It is definitely swarm season here. i have already caught one swarm and they have been hived for two weeks now. there is a small group trying to organize here in Austin. You can check them out at Austin Urban Beekeeping
 

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Maybe the car hit the queen and she left some molecules of her queen pheromones on the car- thus the stragglers are still hanging around the car, smelling her?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes we were thinking that may be the case but I sure hope not. Out of all those bees in that huge swarm to hit the queen would be really unlucky.
 
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