Bee swarm keeps Estacada students inside

About 5,000 honey bees were found in this tree in Estacada in Clackamas County. The bees were relocated, May 2, 2013. (KOIN 6 News)
About 5,000 honey bees were found in this tree in Estacada in Clackamas County. The bees were relocated, May 2, 2013. (KOIN 6 News, courtesy Estacada School District)

ESTACADA, Ore. (KOIN) — A swarm of honey bees kept students at Estacada Junior High School inside during the warmest day so far in 2013.

As many as 6,000 of the insects formed a nest the size of two footballs on a tree in front of the school.

School officials put the school on lockdown conditions until a bee keeper could remove the queen.

“Those that are left behind would end up just scattering once the scent of the queen disappears,” said Gary Lewis, operations manager for the Estacada School District. “So we’ll be checking it in the morning.”

Lewis called in a bee keeper, who moved the bees. The bees are expected to be relocated to hives maintained by the bee keeper.

Most of the bees were gone by the time school was over for the day.

April and May are prime months for bees to swarm.

Those who find a swarm are warned not to try to remove it on their own. Experts sometimes will take bees away for free.

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