Tales From The Nest                         Go back to the tales list

The Day The Tree Fell In My Yard

Date: July 2007

It was a Sunday afternoon when a Southeast Texas thunderstorm
blew through in a Beaumont neighborhood off of Calder Avenue. The
wind knocked down a tree that had obviously been damaged two
years earlier from Hurricane Rita. The tree had a nest of bees in it
which turned out to be extremely nasty.

The tree with the nest fell in a backyard about 2 P.M. By the time Bee
Solutions personnel were called and arrived on the scene, it was 7
P.M. about one-hour before dark. Five hours had past since the tree
had fallen. Our personnel suited up and went to the back yard.

What they found was the tree down with the broken nest and a few
thousand bees on the comb. We realized that this was not normal
when there were tens of thousands of bees still in the sky that
refused to come down and rejoin the colony. The bees in the yard
were extremely aggressive and were stinging our veils and our suits.

This is not typical European bee behavior. If they had been European,
they would have settled back on the nest within 20 to 45 minutes. On
the other hand, when African bees get stirred up, there are
documented cases where they refused to settle down for over 24
hours.

We had to wait until after dark, when about 95% of them did settle
back on the broken nest, and then we exterminated them. We
believed these bees probably had a small percentage of Africanized
genes in them. However, we did not test this particular nest. A & M will
test bees for us, but we do not want to wear out our welcome, so we
make sure that we have very unusual situations when we send tests
in.