Spring brings a welcome break from the sometimes challenging Texas winter. March and April bring new growth, flowers, and honey bees to visit your yard and garden. Sometimes, you or a family member will see a common springtime event – a ball of bees hanging from a tree branch or clinging to the side of a building. This congregation of bees is known as a swarm. Swarming is the process by which mature honey bee hives create new colonies. Swarming bees will generally find a new hive location within a day or two and if possible, should always be left alone.
Swarming honey bees are usually not aggressive
Swarming bees are generally not aggressive since they have no brood or hive site to protect. As a colony matures and outgrows the hive location, the queen will leave the hive location and take up to sixty percent of the worker bees with her. The remaining workers left in the hive will come under the control of a new queen that has been reared for just this event. The swarming group of bees will fly a short distance from the hive and congregate on a branch or building while scout worker bees fly out in search of a new location suitable for the colony. Once a new location is found, the swarm will quickly depart the area and take up residence in the new location.
What if I find a swarm?
Should you or a friend encounter a honey bee swarm, call a bee-keeper or Entex Pest to capture the swarm and relocate the bees to a producing bee hive. Some pest companies or homeowners will spray bees with poisons thinking the swarming bees pose a threat to people or property. Very few reasons exist to kill a swarm of bees when they can be easily and safely removed and put into a useful role.
Sometimes you may find bees have taken up residence in your home, building, or a tree in the yard. Every case is different, but if a swarm has found a suitable colony site in your walls or eaves, Entex Pest can help with this as well. Our entomologists and bee keepers understand honey bees and how they nest within a structure. This situation requires far more work and skill than simply catching a swarm from a tree branch, but the reward of saving the bees is worth the time.
The Entex way
Swarming honey bees generally leave the original hive mid-morning and locate a suitable perch to congregate. The swarmers may stay in this location for a short time or sometimes into the next day. Since honey bee swarms can unnerve most parents and property owners, it is always best to call a professional quickly and keep people away from the area as much as possible. Entex Pest has numerous working bee hives located in Johnson County and will gladly capture these swarms and move them into a happy new home in the country. When other companies may needlessly kill honey bees, Entex rescues them and only asks for delicious raw honey in return!
Attracting Foraging Honey Bees
Honey Bees are having a hard time these days. Colony Collapse Disorder has caused the loss of enormous numbers of bee colonies globally and across parts of the United States. While a swarm encounter may not be everyone’s ideal experience, we should all try to set aside a corner of our property with flowering plants to allow urban honey bees a dedicated place to forage.