Bee keeper moves huge swarm from Iowa shopping center

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Thousands of bees terrified merchants and customers before a gutsy bee keeper moved the swarm. 

Michael Wyatt says he was only stung twice moving the swarm from a tree near a parking lot and shopping area on Northeast 14th Street in Des Moines, Iowa.

Witnesses said the swarm was so thick, it looked like a dark cloud sweeping across the parking lot. 

Wyatt shook the tree branch to knock the queen bee into a cardboard box.  He then clipped of the whole branch where the bees swarmed, placing the branch in the box as well.

The bees that didn’t make it inside the box put their tails in the air in an act known as “fanning”.  They do it to throw out a pheromone to signal other bees that they’ve found the queen. 

Wyatt says bee swarms are pretty common at this time of year in Iowa.  His advice if you see a bee swarm is to just “leave them be.” 

(our sister station WHO-TV contributed to this report)