Each spring especially in April and May honey bees swarm. A swarm is a queen bee and 10,000 to 30,000 worker bees. Most swarms leave the home colony in good weather between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., fly to a nearby tree or bush and cluster on a limb. Swarming is a normal activity for a honey bee colony. When a colony swarms, it divides to make two colonies. Swarming is the instinctual behavior of the bees to increase the number of colonies and avoid overpopulation.

Will the swarm attack me or my family. No. However, if the swarm is disturbed individual bees may sting. Immediately after landing and for the next 24 to 48 hours the bees are very docile. They are "interested' in swarming, rather than defending their colony.


What should you do if you discover a swarm? Do not disturb the swarm. Call Rick McClintock at 305-9103. Swarming bees are normally not defensive. You should not spray a swarm with water or soap and water, gasoline or pesticides. Disturbing the swarm by spraying may create a dangerous situation because bees will become disoriented, fly into the air and may sting.

What if I just leave the swam alone? Usually there is no problem. A swarm usually moves within 24 to 48 hours. Therefore, if a beekeeper is not available to collect the bees from the property, the bees will probably leave without causing a problem.

Should I kill the bees? No. Honey bees are very beneficial as pollinators, as well as producers of honey. They should be killed only as a last resort. Only trained persons with proper protective clothing should respond to this situation. The safest response is to avoid contact with the swarm and call a trained person.

Information to have when calling:

1. Name, address and phone number of homeowner (including available person).

2. Directions to find the location of swarm, including its location on the property.

3. Length of time the bees have been there.

4. Height of the swarm above ground (will a ladder be needed?).

5. Size of the swarm (example, football size?).

To remove swarm contact Rick McClintock 305-9103. We will locate swarm at the community garden.