It’s swarm season… we can help!

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What to do when you find a swarm of honey bees?

CALL the SWARM HOTLINE: 250-900-5787

Members of the CRBA will help homeowners and businesses collect and re-locate swarms of honeybees.

What is a swarm?

Swarms can occur anywhere

The formal definition points to a large, dense group of (flying insects). In our world, these are honey bees that are looking for a new home. The swirling mass moving through the air is impressive but not dangerous. Those that have left with the queen have gorged on honey and are happily following her to a new home. The queen and her entourage may settle on a warm flat surface like a sunny wall or chimney or cluster on the branches of a nearby tree to wait while scouts look for a new home. That is when a member of our swarm team can often wrangle them into a temporary hive and re-locate them to more suitable quarters.

Why do bees swarm?

There are many reasons why a colony of honey bees swarm. It could be a natural part of the colonies’ way to reproduce; the queen will leave and take a large portion of the hive with her so they can start anew somewhere else. The remaining colony should be able to produce their own queen and live separate from the swarm. Another reason for swarming could be due to their current environment (hive) being too crowded or uncomfortable or that it is insufficient for their needs (like food or room for the queen to lay). Often a beekeeper’s role is to identify the signs of a swarm and would typically try to prevent it (there are a number of ways). However, sometimes bees will just be bees and go and sit in a tree somewhere…

DO’s

  • Call our number and identify where the bees are located.
  • Close nearby windows.

DON’TS

  • Do not spray them with insecticide.
  • Do not shoo them away with a broom.
  • If they are in your fireplace chimney, do not start a fire. They tend to move downward when smoked.

3 thoughts on “It’s swarm season… we can help!

  1. cyrus farivar Reply

    Hi, I just read the above description about why bees swarm and noticed that no where does it actually say that swarming is a biological imperative; bees do what they gotta do! Yes crowding can contribute but as you are well aware, bees still swarm despite the bee keepers best intentions. As it’s described above it suggests that poor management on the part of the beekeeper is the likely cause. Might the club want to consider reviewing the above description that we put out there for the public.

    • Werner Grundlingh Post authorReply

      Hi Cyrus! I’ve updated the post and elaborated on some motivations as to why honey bees swarm. Hopefully this addresses your request.

      • cyrus Reply

        Much better! I like it. It has a friendlier tone that I think needs to be there to reassure the public that firstly it is natural for bees to swarm and secondly that they are harmless (but should be respected). Thanks for doing this.
        Cyrus

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