GALLATIN, Tenn. – Officials at the Sumner County Convention and Visitors Bureau are often talking about the benefits of vising the area, but they were surprised when a bee colony decided to take them up on the offer.
The moment you walk into Gallatin’s Comer House you can feel the history.
Barry Young with the Visitors Bureau uses the house as an office, and a place to welcome unexpected visitors from all over. Late Monday he noticed a problem.
"I always drive in front of the house just to make sure everything's secure,” he said.
As it turned out, it was not the visitors on the inside, but the outside that got his attention. A swarm of honey bees started gathering on one of the home's historic columns.
“I thought, ok, am I awake? Or am I dreaming? I'd never seen anything like this before,” said Young. “It was just a big blob of bees."
There were enough to make office assistant Amanda Ennis use the backdoor.
“I was a little freaked out,” she said.
Worried they were building a hive, Young called an exterminator who asked a bee expert. They said not to worry.
"He said that they have lost their hive for some reason, and they've just flown over here temporarily,” said Young.
The bees ended up staying the night. Tuesday morning they suddenly started swarming.
"They left in about a 90-second to 2-minute window. It didn't take them long to leave,” said Young.
They may not have been the typical visitors who drop in and go on their way. Young said the county accepts visitors of all kinds.
“I'm hoping to count those bees as my tourism total for the year, as the number of visitors that come in," he said.
The visit certainly will have people at the visitors bureau talking for quite a while.
"Definitely the most memorable visitors we've had,” said Young.
In the last few weeks they have also had groundhogs, a peacock and even a baby goat suddenly show up.
If the bees build a permanent hive on the property, they'll have them safely moved by an experienced beekeeper.