Thursday, April 17, 2008


Yesterday I was working in my garage while Matthew and Elizabeth played in the driveway. I walked to the sidewalk to make sure they were where they were supposed to be and heard a faint whirring sound. "Must be a truck going down University," I thought walking back into the garage. But it kept getting louder. Within seconds I heard a loud zzzzzzzz and immediately looked up to make sure the kids weren't anywhere near the road or the crazy driver barrelling down our street.

There was no car. I was horrified to see a black swarm cloud hovering over my children. Chris is allergic to bees, but I do not yet know if either Matthew or Elizabeth is. However, being stung by that many bees, particularly the "killer" bees we have here in Arizona, would have killed even a non-allergic adult.

I couldn't run to them. The bottom of the swarm was about 4-5 feet off the ground. All I could do was yell, "Get in the house! Bees!" Matthew looked up and understood immediately. Elizabeth just kept scooting her tiny butt around on the skateboard. All I could do was hold me breath and watch.

The swarm quickly passed without incident (having done some research since, I've learned that they were looking for a new place to build a hive.) I ran out to the street to get another glimpse of the black cloud and could still see it all the way to the end of our street. The swarm was about as a large as my minivan and denser than any picture I can find on the Internet.

Myself being about as busy as a bee lately, I completely forgot about the whole episode until I finally had a minute to reflect on my day. I'm glad I got to see something like that, surprised that I was able to forget something so singular virtually instantly, and especially grateful that the kids are okay and that we had a wonderful day besides!

*Picture is a clip from DreamWorks' Bee Movie*


The Farmer's Wife said...

We have those pass-by a LOT down here on the farm. Ben has seen them, but I haven't (eventhough one swarm cloud went right by me. All I know is BEN saw it and yelled to me; I just grabbed Hayden and the dog and ran to the house without looking back).

Gotta watch those Africanized Killer Bees!

Here's another hint:
We thought it would be cool to have hummingbird feeders, so we put two up on our patio. One day, after coming home from the store, there was a swarm of bees all around our house. They were EVERYWHERE and we couldn't even get out of the car. We couldn't even go into another door....they were ALL over the house.

We saw that they were covering both hummingbird feeders. So much so that we couldn't see much of the feeder. Once in a while one would slip and a cluster of bees would fall off and disappear as they all flew back up to the feeder. Everyone told us that is normal to see every year if you have feeders hanging. SO, get rid of your hummingbird feeders too (if you have any).

It was WILD!

Kristal said...

Yikes! From what I've read other tips include:
* don't wear dark colored clothes
* don't wear floral or citrus scented perfume or aftershave
You can find more tips through the "killer bees" link in the post.

A friend also mentioned that they follow you by following your oxygen trail (haven't had time to verify that, though.) Their advise: be mindful of your surroundings, especially when hiking, running, or doing other activities taht make you breathe hard. Good advice in the desert to avoid a number of dangers!

Stephanie said...

I'm so glad no one was stung! Be careful out there in AZ...we don't have that problem in the bay area, maybe you should join us here? :)

Kristal said...

Correction to my above comment: "carbon dioxide" trail, not "oxygen" trail. :D Biology, shmology.

Sorry, Stephanie, we're here for awhile. Wanna come over here, it's always suuuh-neeeeee :P Hmmm?

Krissy said...

Holy crap Kristal!!!!!! Glad the kids were okay ... where is that camera when you need it??? LOL :D

Edie Keysar said...

Dad says "better beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeware!"

Stephanie said...

Sorry Krystal, there's no place like California :) Are you guys going up to Utah this summer for this year's "family reunion"? Hope to see you there!

Nicole Coles said...

Kristal that is crazy!!! I'm freaked out of bees! Hopefully you won't see that again! I would love to join either you or Stephanie in Arizona or California!! I'm jealous! Only three years left in Utah and then we're out of here!!

Stephanie said...

I think the Coles need to make a trip to California :) We have room for the 4 of you (and Adelyn and Elizabeth...not sure if we could fit all the other kids!)

Maybe sometime this summer or fall? Rachael wants to know her aunts and uncles!

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