What's the buzz? A swarm of 10,000 bees hovering outside the downtown Tim Hortons in Saskatoon

A buzzing ball of 10,000 bees hovered outside the downtown Tim Hortons in Saskatoon Thursday afternoon. So the city went to Plan B.

City calls local apiarist from a list compiled for bee emergencies

Who you gonna call? Bee-busters. (CBC)

A swarm of 10,000 bees hovered in a buzzing ball outside the downtown Tim Hortons in downtown Saskatoon Thursday afternoon until the city tapped its list of apiarists to call for bee-related emergencies.

Bevin Bradley with Spun Apiary is on the city's "swarm list." She got the call to head downtown just after lunch.

She arrived with her neighbour Sharalee Isaac, a saw, a ladder, a large cardboard box, coveralls and mesh hats.

Isaac braced the ladder while Bradley climbed into the swarm and cut off the branch they were hovering around. The bees were then swept into a box, which was then moved into her hatchback. 

Sharalee Isaac, left, and Bevin Bradley took care of the swarm. (CBC)

Bradley said the swarm can be an unsettling — but entirely natural — sight for someone not familiar with bees.

"It's a survival mechanism for them, to procreate basically and create more hives," she said.

When a second queen is hatched in a hive, she will gather her followers and the group will venture out to build a new home.

"And they hang in a ball somewhere close to the old hive, and then they send out scouts and they're looking for a new home. So they would have stayed like that for a number of hours, or days, even," she said.

Bradley said that she'll take the bees back to her apiary and try and help them establish a new hive.

About the Author

Dan Zakreski is a reporter for CBC Saskatoon.