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Bees Swarm In Charlestown by Emily Patrick

Several thousand bees descended on downtown Charlestown for no apparent reason around noon on Monday, Jan. 13. Thanks to the efficient efforts of two Nevis beekeepers, the insects were captured almost as quickly as they arrived. “This is not an established nest; this is a swarm,’said Quentin “Beeman”Henderson as he coaxed the bees into a box. “They are in between one nest and another.”Henderson is a well-known bee expert in Nevis – he worked with the Beekeepers Cooperative for more than a decade, and currently he assists private clients in caring for and managing bees. The Nevis Disaster Management Department called him to remove the swarm from the high-traffic area on the main road, across the street from Evelyn’s Drug Store. When Henderson arrived on the scene, former beekeeper Jose Feliciano was already on there gathering boxes in which to transport the bees. “They have a big swarm here – a surprise,”Feliciano said. “Some people like to spray it, which is not good. It’s better to take it and try to put it safe somewhere.”The bees had gathered on a stone step next to a potted plant. Henderson estimated anywhere from 5,000 to 15,000 bees were present. Comparatively, the swarm was small, he said. Large swarms can contain 60,000 bees. When the beekeepers arrived, most passersby were avoiding them, but no one seemed alarmed, according to Henderson. “They were more curious than afraid,”he said. The beekeepers could not explain why the bees had chosen this particular location in downtown Charlestown to gather. Henderson said swarming is a natural behavior for bees when they are between hives, as this group was. Feliciano located the queen, gingerly pushing the other bees out of the way with his finger. He identified her by her large size and dark abdomen. He placed the queen in the box, and the other bees followed.

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