Have you ever seen a cluster of bees on a fence line or hanging from a tree branch? Honeybee colonies reproduce by swarming in the spring. An older laying queen from a hive leaves for a new location with up to 60% of the hive’s working population. The remainder of the bees stay behind to rebuild the colony with a new queen. The leaving swarm will move in stages, first gathering near the old hive on a branch or on the side of a fence facing the sun. They will be a visible dark cluster and may produce a loud buzzing sound. The swarm stays in place in the cluster while scout bees look for a new home or temporary resting spot. Once the scout bees find a suitable next location, the entire swarm will move to it.
Sometimes when people see a swarm of bees, they are nervous because they are fearful of bee stings. That fear is generally unnecessary because during the swarm stage, the bees are not aggressive. They don’t have a hive in place or honey or eggs to protect, and will be relatively gentle, if unprovoked.
If you see a swarm of bees in the area, please contact the park at 931-864-3247. We have hive boxes and tools ready and can come collect the bees and give them a new home at the park.
We’re looking at a fantastic lineup of spring programs here at Cordell Hull Birthplace State Historic Park!
April 20th – Blacksmithing Demonstration (All Day)
Bill Maddox and Pete Santoro from Historic Mansker’s Station will be making the hinges and hooks to finish our smokehouse. Come see their shop and see the work that goes into a 19th century blacksmith operation.
April 21st – Earth Day Trail Cleanup (9am)
Celebrate Earth Day early at Cordell Hull Birthplace State Park with a morning hike and trail cleanup. Interpretive ranger Rachel will be leading a refreshing morning hike down to the mouth of Bunkum Cave. In honor of Earth Day, we will do a trail clean up along the way. The hike to Bunkum Cave is roughly 2.5 miles and rated moderate. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes, and don’t forget to bring your refillable water bottles along with you and fill up at our water bottle refill station to stay hydrated along the way! We will meet at the trailhead. We will meet at the trailhead.
April 21st – Sun Catchers & Slime (1pm)
Join interpretive ranger Rachel to make a colorful spring sun catcher and some slime! We will design our own sun catchers out of beads to hang out in the sun, and while the sun catchers are baking, we will make some slime that we will also get to take home! We will meet in the park office.
April 27th – Afternoon Hike to Bunkum Cave (3pm)
Join interpretive ranger Rachel for an evening hike to Bunkum Cave to wind down. The hike is roughly 2.5 miles round trip, and will take about an hour and a half to complete. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes and bring plenty of water. We will meet at the trailhead.
April 27th – Fun Around the Campfire (7:30pm)
Come out to Cordell Hull Birthplace State Park for a fun evening around the campfire. Come prepared with your favorite campfire stories, or bring your guitar and other instruments for some campfire songs. We will be providing supplies for s’mores for a small donation to the park.
Be sure to bring your camp chairs.
April 28th – Weekend Kids Program
Corn Husk Dolls – 1:00 p.m.
Join interpretive Ranger Rachel to learn how to make your very own corn husk doll! We also learn the history behind them. Once we are finished we will get to take our dolls home with us.
Finger Weaving – 2:00 p.m.
Join interpretive ranger Rachel as we weave our way into some fun! We will learn how to finger weave; we will even get to bring our creation home! We will meet in the park office.
Make Your Own Animal tracks – 3:00 p.m.
Join interpretive Ranger Rachel to learn about animal tracks and what they can tell! We will get to make our own animal track out of oven-baked clay. Several different animal track molds will be available to choose from. We will meet at the park office.
May 4th Dr. Michael Birdwell: Upper Cumberland Moonshine
For our May speaker series event, Dr. Michael Birdwell, of Tennessee Tech will present his latest research on the history of moonshine in the Upper Cumberland. His talk is titled “There’s A Lot of Nourishment in an Acre of Corn.” after the quote by William Faulkner.
Dr. Birdwell is a respected historian and subject matter expert on a number of topics that relate to Cordell Hull Birthplace and is in a unique position to present historical perspectives on both Cordell Hull’s career as the foremost diplomat in American History, as well as the broader context of his upbringing in the Upper Cumberland. Dr. Birdwell will include discussion on Cordell Hull’s father’s moonshine operation, by which he reportedly earned the seed money to establish businesses which eventually led to the accumulation of great wealth and opportunity for his family.
Join us for what is sure to be a fascinating talk on a very interesting subject!
Marcianne O’Day | Park Ranger
Cordell Hull Birthplace State Park
1300 Cordell Hull Memorial Drive
Byrdstown, TN 38549