I had an encounter with 100,000’s of moving aphids yesterday afternoon. I was standing under a pine tree in the front garden wondering why the seat was sticky and why the greengage bush was shiny and sticky. it was honeydew , from above.
Looking up I was taken aback the whole pine trunk was moving with huge black aphids, they looked more like beetles they were so big!
I became aware that I was being rained on with honeydew the sap eaten by the aphid oozing got out of its other end !!
Here is a little video of these sap sucking marchers.
Looking at some information on an RHS website this is probably Black spruce bark aphid ( Cinara piceae) it comments that they are very large and often mistaken for beetles which is exactly what I first thought. They form dense colonies and suck the sap from the bark of a wide range of picea trees. It also says that the heaviest infestations occur in May and June. These heavy infestations are spectacular and infrequent.
This morning I have been out to the tree and they have either moved on, are hidden or are late sleepers! There are none on the tree to be seen . Either that or a swarm of night flying ladybirds swooped down to feast in the night !!!