As we mentioned in a previous blog, Ashley Bradford and Bill Young have created the website MPNature to help people learn about and enjoy the nature at Monticello Park. The website is designed so that visitors can know what to look for before visiting the park and can understand what they are seeing once they get there.
This past weekend Ashley saw a swarm on a tree with two or three thousand honeybees. YIKES!
Ashley contacted the Northern Virginia Beekeepers Association, and they sent Kathryn Krenn out to “round up the girls.” (Kathryn was allowed to keep the bees she collected.) To collect a swarm of bees you have to find the queen. If she is captured and put into a box, all of the other bees will want to follow. But she can be hard to identify as she looks a bit different from the other bees, but not so different that she stands out in a group of thousands of bees. Kathryn had to scrape some of bees onto frames that she brought. She then put the frames into a box and repeated this process many times until she was successful. Thank you Kathryn!
It appears that a local beekeeper was careless and lost a swarm.
In bird news, Bill Young reported that the House Wrens are arriving. He also saw a Winter Wren who should be leaving soon and heard a thrasher singing.
As we enter the fourth week of April, if you visit the park you should start seeing some migrants coming.
If you would like to join Laurel Conger and the birders to celebrate the park call Laurel at 703-577-6899 for details on an upcoming event.