Marley Birkett and his partner Kim discovered a swarm of European Honeybees in their Chuwar backyard.
Marley Birkett and his partner Kim discovered a swarm of European Honeybees in their Chuwar backyard.

Ipswich family’s backyard discovery

POTTERING about their own backyard, an Ipswich family uncovered an unusual scene.

Among the branches of a tree, a large colony of more than 15,000 bees appeared to be gearing up to build a new hive.

Chuwar dad Marley Birkett was working in the garden when his daughter spotted the bees.

He told the Queensland Times his family often saw native bees buzzing about the garden but had never before seen a swarm of thousands of European Honeybees.

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It is understood the bees had landed in the family’s garden, after having broken away from their former hive.

Marley Birkett and his partner Kim discovered a swarm of European Honeybees in their Chuwar backyard.
Marley Birkett and his partner Kim discovered a swarm of European Honeybees in their Chuwar backyard.

“It’s called swarming and is a natural occurrence for bees. What tends to happen is, as the hive gets bigger and bigger, the bees can’t smell the pheromones of the queen anymore,” Marley said.

“So they make a new queen but, when they realise there are two queens, one is exiled from the hive and takes a loyal following and they try to find a new home.”

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Marley and his partner Kim enlisted the help of a beekeeper to relocate the bees and ensure they weren’t diseased.

“Unfortunately, more often than not, they (build homes) in the brickwork of people’s houses,” Marley said.

“So we were lucky enough to find them before they found our house but I reckon that’s what they would have done first thing in the morning, if we hadn’t found them.”

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