'At first it was horrifying,' Barrie family buzzing over backyard discovery
A colony of bees has swarmed trees in the backyard of a Barrie, Ont., family's home. Wed., June 10, 2020. (Steve Mansbridge/CTV News)
BARRIE, ONT. -- The Cooke family in Barrie is still buzzing about the latest discovery in their backyard.
"At first we were horrified," admits Jen Cooke. "We looked outside through our window there was thousands of bees all around."
Cooke says the bees could be seen - and heard - swarming in the trees.
"I've never seen it before, a lot of our neighbours have never seen it before," she adds.
Experts say the occurrence isn't uncommon and not as dangerous as some may think.
Bee specialists say this natural process in the life of a honey bee colony happens when a large group from an existing hive finds life a little too crowded and establishes a new colony.
The bees gather in a large cluster, including worker bees, drones and a queen bee.
The cluster of bees can remain stationary for as long as a few days while they scout around for a new nesting spot.
"Our family feels very lucky actually, that they are in our backyard," Cooke says while watching the bees buzzing around high above in the trees.
While experts say you should always be careful around bees, swarming bees present less of a threat because they feed before they swarm, reducing aggression, experts say.
"They've been doing this for thousands of years, and all you can do is respect the bee," says Cooke.
Remarkably, the swarming bees will most likely survive our stormy summer conditions because they cluster together.