The latest buzz: a hive of bees invades the city center bus stop

Content of the article

Downtown Windsor was abuzz on Wednesday with news of some unexpected visitors – a swarm of 4,000 bees that have taken up temporary residence at a bus stop.

Advertisement 2

Content of the article

Well, not everyone was talking about it.

“There were actually two people sitting on the bench less than a meter from it, apparently unaware that there were 4,000 bees next to them,” said Transit beekeeper Tim Purdie. Windsor called in to handle the delicate situation. “Even though the shutdown had duct tape around it.”

The swarm of bees appeared overnight at the stop near Shoppers Drug Mart on Wyandotte Street, between Ouellette Avenue and Dufferin Place.

Purdie and her daughter, Drew, went to check on the situation Wednesday morning.

“About 4,000 bees clustered in the corner of the glass enclosure in a very tall vertical line, probably like eight feet from floor to ceiling,” said Purdie, one of 300 Essex County beekeepers and founder of the Essex County Beekeepers Club.

Advertisement 3

Content of the article

He said the bees had no intention of taking over the bus stop permanently.

A swarm of bees that inhabited a Transit Windsor bus stop on Wyandotte Street East in downtown Windsor is pictured on Wednesday.
A swarm of bees that inhabited a Transit Windsor bus stop on Wyandotte Street East in downtown Windsor is pictured on Wednesday. Photo by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star

“They’re full of honey,” Purdie said. “So they stuffed themselves at the source from which they left, full of honey, with the intention of putting it in a new store. When they are in this state, it is like when we eat too much. They are just very comfortable and not aggressive. This is a pit stop along the way to find a permanent home. You call it a swarm.

He said the best way to capture a swarm is to hit the queen, which is about twice the size of other bees.

“So you’re looking for that queen out of the 4,000,” he said.

His daughter found it in about two minutes.

“That’s why I love when she comes,” Purdie said. “It would have taken me a lot longer with bifocals.”

Advertisement 4

Content of the article

Tim Purdie and his daughter, Drew Purdie, of the Essex County Bee Keepers Club, are shown Wednesday removing a swarm of bees that had been inhabiting a Transit Windsor bus stop on Wyandotte Street East in downtown Windsor.
Tim Purdie and his daughter, Drew Purdie, of the Essex County Bee Keepers Club, are shown Wednesday removing a swarm of bees that had been inhabiting a Transit Windsor bus stop on Wyandotte Street East in downtown Windsor. Photo by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star

Then they used a queen claw, which looks like a hair clip, to rip the queen out of the swarm and move her into a temporary box.

“This queen has a pheromone, a unique scent to her,” Purdie said. “And all the bees there, all 3,999, will sense that she’s been moved from that place and they’ll literally walk straight into that box.”

But because it was so hot on Wednesday, some of the bees were moving a bit slowly. So Purdie pulled out his “bee vacuum” to suck up stragglers and get things going.

“It’s basically a Shop-Vac hooked up to an empty bee hive,” Purdie said. “We’ve sucked up all the remaining bees in this box and will combine them when we get home.”

[email protected]

twitter.com/WinStarWilhelm

Stay safe.  Beekeeper Tim Purdie and his daughter Drew remove a swarm of bees that inhabited a Transit Windsor bus stop in downtown Windsor.
Stay safe. Beekeeper Tim Purdie and his daughter Drew remove a swarm of bees that inhabited a Transit Windsor bus stop in downtown Windsor. Photo by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star
A Transit Windsor bus keeps its doors closed against any unwanted passengers as beekeepers, called in by Transit Windsor, work to remove thousands of bees that have stopped at a city center bus shelter.
A Transit Windsor bus keeps its doors closed against any unwanted passengers as beekeepers, called in by Transit Windsor, work to remove thousands of bees that have stopped at a city center bus shelter. Photo by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star
Follow the queen.  Once the hive leader is removed, most of the thousands of other well-fed bees in that swarm are quite ready to be removed as well.
Follow the queen. Once the hive leader is removed, most of the thousands of other well-fed bees in that swarm are quite ready to be removed as well. Photo by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star
Tim Purdie and his daughter, Drew Purdie, of the Essex County Beekeepers Club, are shown removing a swarm of bees that inhabited a Transit Windsor bus stop in downtown Windsor.
Tim Purdie and his daughter, Drew Purdie, of the Essex County Beekeepers Club, are shown removing a swarm of bees that inhabited a Transit Windsor bus stop in downtown Windsor. Photo by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star
Better to have memorized the timetables at this bus stop taken over by a swarm of bees.
Better to have memorized the timetables at this bus stop taken over by a swarm of bees. Photo by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star

comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively yet civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to be moderated before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread you follow, or if a user follows you comments. Visit our Community Rules for more information and details on how to adjust your E-mail settings.

About Marion Alexander

Check Also

Maharashtra HSC Time Table 2023; Download the 12th council calendar PDF

Maharashtra HSC Time Table 2023: Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Education (MSBSHSE) has …