For most people the springtime is a time for things like spring cleaning, flowers blooming, and the weather taking a pleasant turn. It is a waking time from the slow months of winter, and many creatures eagerly await its arrival.
Beekeepers know this season as “Swarm Season”. Honey Bees, like many other insects and animals have been waiting for this warm change in the weather along with the abundance of pollen and nectar that comes with it.
What is a bee swarm?Anytime you see a big cloud of bees flying together or a large cluster of bees hanging from something like a tree branch, you have just seen a swarm of bees. Congratulations, you have just witnessed a natural wonder! A swarm of bees is half of a bee hive’s bees, recently taken off from their previous hive, traveling to a new hive location that may or may not have been chosen yet.
What are all those bees doing, and where are they going? Well a bee swarm is the natural method honey bees use to multiply and spread genetics. Once the bee hive has reached a high enough population, half of the bees begin to prepare to swarm. This involves a creating new queen cells for the new queen’s to be raised in and gorging on some honey to take with them. The hive will produce or, “rear” multiple queens to better their chances of survival, however only one queen will survive as the first to hatch will quickly kill the rest before they can hatch. The old queen knows better than to wear out her welcome and takes off with the bees who have prepared to swarm just before the new queen hatches. This swarm of bees now begins searching for suitable locations to establish a new hive.
What to do if a bee hive settles on my property?If a bee swarm happens to land somewhere on your property, keep small children and pets away and call your local live bee removal specialist/beekeeper ASAP. Keep in mind there is a chance that the swarm was just allowing their queen to rest and they will move along on their own. Luckily a swarm is quick and easy snag for a professional that can be taken care of in minutes.