There are plenty of names for groups of animals. Colony, Rookery (Albatross) Congregation (Alligators) Flange (Baboons) Shoal (Bass). Camels are a Herd, Cats are a Destruction, Cheetahs are a Coalition, Caterpillars are an Army. A group of snails is known as a Rout. In some parts of the animal kingdom it seems there are more names for a cluster than there are animals! You can call a group of Whales either a Pod, a Gam, a Herd, a School or a Mod.
Bees are of course a Swarm, but they are also a Nest, a Hive and a Grist. At least they used to be before cell-phone towers screwed up their navigation skills and they started dying off like newspapers. Which is more than a shame...since if we do not pollinate our dirt-based food sources, we die too.
When I was young, I would tempt fate by catching them and putting them in a buzzing mayo jar of death. They always looked REALLY pissed off in there. The younger kid down the block was impressed too, and he reached into a rosebush and grabbed his own bee, thrusting his hand upward in victory and shouting "I GOT ONE!" He got one awright...and a trip to the hospital for a Bevy and Gaggle of life-saving antihistamines for his swelling little fist.
in High School, my genius friend Doug was given a room upstairs to grow his own bees. He installed a glass fronted hive, and we would thrill to their activity...the little fellows would fly out their tiny tube to the world and return with pollen on their limbs and share it with their buzzing buddies. We soon learned if you leaned close to the glass and hummed a certain note, the frequency would make all the bees freeze like statues. I still don't know what caused it, but it was remarkable. There were no cellphones then, but the hive died out anyway. Doug blamed it on bee diarrhea.
Group of Original Press Photographs, 1951 -1961 Collection Jim Linderman