Large swarm of bees, hive removed from Dollar General Market in Niles

A bee removal specialist said that a swarm could take just seconds to form and could happen almost anywhere

Large bee hive on shopping carts


NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – Thousands of honey bees were found swarming near shopping carts in the corral at a Dollar General Market in Niles, where a large bee hive had formed.

“I was absolutely shocked. I was just in awe and amazement,” said Jammie Briggs, who sent First News cell phone video of the swarm. “The top of it was probably about a foot wide and probably two feet in length. It covered around three buggies that were connected together.”

The bees were gone by Thursday. A manager at the store says they called a bee keeper, who came to re-home them.

Bob Chmelik, a bee removal specialist, reviewed the cell phone video.

“I’m gonna say a large-medium swarm,” he said. “I would say there’s probably every bit of eight to ten thousand bees there.”

“I thought it was crazy, I never seen anything like it,” Briggs said. “You know, the bees were just swarming, the whole lot, I was afraid someone was gonna get stung.”

He says a swarm like the one at Dollar General could take just seconds to form, and could happen almost anywhere.

“What happens is that the queen is like, two to three times the size of the workers and she can’t fly very far. So what happens is she’ll get tired and she’ll settle down someplace, and all of the bees will swarm around her.”

It’s been an especially busy swarm season. Chmelik has had over 91 calls so far, more than double the total number he had last year, and there’s still a few weeks left.

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