It’s Honey Bee Swarm Season!
What is a honeybee swarm? During the spring and summer months, honeybees will increase their populations in order to harvest the season’s pollen, nectar flows, and propagate their species. Seeing a honeybee swarm is a really magical event! A swarm is led by a queen bee and for the first few minutes looks like a honeybee tornado. Then the group lands in a clump (see photo) while scout honeybees look for a great new home. A swarm may remain in a temporary location for a few hours or a day or more, depending on weather conditions and scout success. Once the scout honeybees find a new home location, they will inform the swarm, which will move on to that new home.
Should I be scared if I see a swarm?
Honeybees are a stinging insect and can be defensive if provoked or threatened; however, swarms tend to be docile as they have no home to protect. If you encounter a swarm, simply enjoy them from a comfortable distance or better yet, call a local beekeeper to come collect them!
Please don't spray pesticide on a honeybee swarm! The honeybees will depart on their own as soon as they can. They are extremely beneficial to our environment as pollinators. A beekeeper will gladly come remove them, and might reward you with a jar of local honey! What should you do if you see or have a honey bee swarm in your area or backyard?