New Bedford Car Swarmed By Bees, Beekeeper to the Rescue
New Bedford was buzzing yesterday when a swarm of bees found refuge on a gentleman’s car. It's a sight you certainly don’t see every day, and this required the help of a local beekeeper to save the bees, the car, and the gentleman from getting stung.
Nerija Kupryte-Hopkins (Nettie for short) is a beekeeper living in Rochester. Her father kept bees and she would help as a child. Later in life, she went to college for agriculture and beekeeping and now spends her time taking care of upwards of 50,000 bees at a time.
She received a call from a woman in New Bedford, whose father’s car was covered in honey bees. They wanted to save the bees and knew Nettie would know what to do.
“It’s unusual to flock to a car,” Kupryte-Hopkins said. “The bees may have gotten tired, or the temperature dropped so they had to seek refuge immediately.”
Swarms are common but seeing one on the back of a car can be a bit jarring. This swarm was most likely on the hunt for a new place to live.
“Bees go through spring fever,” said Tom, her husband. “They’ll start their season too early or run out of room and need to find a bigger home.” He admits that he is only involved for “moral support” when it comes to beekeeping. He handles the other side of the business of overseeing the distribution of their honey products called Nettie’s Bees, and controls the video camera during these rescue missions.
Tom managed to get this video of the incident in New Bedford.
Kupryte-Hopkins explained to me that every beekeeper is different, each with their own philosophies. Her method begins with spraying a harmless smoke over the bees, which works as a calming effect on them. She then takes a goose feather and coaxes the bees into a box, where she can then safely transport them back to her beehive.
“The bees are now in the hive,” she said. “I won’t interrupt them for a couple days while they settle in.”
Bees are important, but I would be lying to you if I said I wasn’t nervous around them. I’m glad the daughter and the older gentleman knew to call Nettie; otherwise, this could have escalated into a sting-y situation.