SWARMS: WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU ENCOUNTER ONE
A very common occurrence between May and June. This is the time of year when many people find swarms of bees around their homes or in their yards. There are a few things you should do when you encounter a swarm of honeybees in order to protect yourself and the bees. Remember that bees are a vital part of our world, so please do not kill them. You may often find a swarm in a tree, but you can also find a swarm on a home, barn or shed.
1. Don't Panic
When honeybees swarm they are generally very docile and will rarely show aggressive tendencies. They will merely find a suitable spot to gather, as a temporary measure, while they send out scouts to find a more permanent hive which will serve as a new home. When bees swarm, they tend to gather in a tight ball and will form in a temporary spot; it could be in a tree/bush, on a clothesline, a fence, a bicycle, home, shed, barn, or anywhere that they can land to form a cluster.
2. Make a Mental Note
Make a note of where they are (would a ladder be needed to get at them?) Also, gauge the rough size of the swarm (tennis ball, football etc), and try to estimate how long it has been in this spot.
Contact the Norfolk County Beekeepers Association Swarm person for your area. You may also contact any of the officers of the club. Below you will find a list of contact people. If you do not find your town you can call any one on the list. They will attempt to have a beekeeper call you about your swarm. In some cases a beekeeper may not be available to pick up the swarm, nevertheless the swarm will move on, usually within a day or two and generally will pose no threat.
4. Keep at a Safe Distance
Sit back, watch, take some pictures and wait for the beekeeper to arrive. Any beekeeper will tell you that there is something very magical about a swarm. There is an electric feeling in the air, as the bees swirl round before gathering into a cluster. Watching a beekeeper capture a swarm is an experience that you will never forget. And don’t forget to thank the beekeeper.
5. Tell Others
Share your experience. All too often, bees get very bad press. Mix the word “Bees” with “Killer” and all of a sudden you have horror film that will perform very well at the box office. You will know differently off course, as you will have seen at first hand just how docile and truly magical these little creatures can be. Let us know if you are involved with a swarm. We would like to hear of your experience.
The Master Call List
The Norfolk County Beekeepers Association will attempt to help with swarms in and around any of the Norfolk County towns and city. As well we have many members outside of Norfolk County and we are always eager to help.