When you see a swarm of bees, the tendency for most of us is to be afraid and call a trustworthy pest control company to come and get rid of them…read on to consider how that may not be the best course of action.

What is a Honey Bee swarm?

A Honey Bee swarm is several hundreds of bees clustered together in one place. They can be found anywhere–in a corner of a building, on a tree limb, or even on a shopping cart in a grocery store parking lot! They look frightening and sound ominous with such a large number making the familiar, low buzzing noise in unison.

Why do Honey Bees swarm?

Honey Bees swarm when the queen bee leaves the colony with a large group of worker bees, in search of a new home to begin a new colony. In some cases, approximately 60% of the worker bees leave the original hive location with the old queen.

What’s happening in the swarm?

The swarm is mostly worker bees, a few drones, and the queen from the old nest buzzing around trying to find their next home. (And these swarming bees are only about half of the original colony! The other half stays behind to raise the eggs that have already been laid and to continue doing life in the old nest.) When you see a Honey Bee swarm, the bees are waiting for the scout bees (a few of the worker bees) to come back from their recon mission on finding the ideal place to build the new colony. Upon their return to the swarm, they do a dance called a waggle that indicates the location of the proposed colony. The liveliest waggle usually wins the argument for where the next colony should be built.

Are Honey Bee swarms dangerous?

No, they are typically not dangerous if unprovoked. Since their food supply and babies are at the old nest, so they have no need to practice their protective instincts.

What do I do when I see a swarm of bees?

When you see a swarm of bees, the best thing you can do is to walk away from it since the bees will only be swarming at a location for 24-48 hours. The only time you would remove a swarm of bees is when it’s in a highly-populated area and could pose safety concerns for passers-by–that’s where we come in. 

How does Gregory get rid of/relocate a Honey Bee swarm?

If a Honey Bee swarm is in a high-traffic area, Gregory will come out and attempt to safely re-locate the bee swarm if possible. Learn about our bee hive relocation services here. If the swarm is immovable for any number of reasons and is a public health concern, Gregory will eliminate the bees, but it’s not preferable since pollinators play such an important part in the ecosystem (Read more about pollinators here). To relocate a honeybee swarm, we lure the bees into a box using old honeycomb or beeswax (bees are attracted to their own scent), and then we relocate them to a safe area for a new colony to grow and for the bees to continue pollinating and making honey!

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