Got swarms? Leave them BEE!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

By Bud Paine

Pinal Rural Fire Rescue

This is the time of year that honeybees are splitting up and moving around to establish new honeycombs. A clustered swarm of many bees may appear frightening, but most spring swarm clusters of European honey bees—the common honey bees here in our area—are extremely docile. It takes quite a bit of aggravation, such as being hit by sticks and stones or squirted with a hose, to create defensive behavior.

The reason a bee swarm looks like a clump of bees is because all of the workers are gathered around the queen, forming a clump. The queen is not the strongest of flyers, and so will need to rest at some point, perhaps on a branch, fence, or the side of a house. Meanwhile, ‘scout bees’ will be sent out to look for a suitable new place for the colony to live.

Are swarms dangerous?

They are focused on finding a new nest, not on attacking. That said, it is important to keep your distance from swarming bees, because if the bees feel threatened, then it is possible they will attack. A swarm may stay around for a few days, depending on how quickly the scout bees find a suitable new home. This could happen very quickly, even within a day.

If the bees don’t find a new nesting location, they may begin producing beeswax and forming combs at the spot where the cluster formed, such as a tree limb, the overhang of a house, or another unusual place. These “exposed comb” colonies may exist until fall (or year-round in warm-winter areas), but robbing bees, hungry birds, and inclement weather usually put an end to these colonies and their combs very quickly.

So, the point is…let them be and they will most likely just fly away to a new place. A swarm requires a large cavity, 4-9 gallons in size, to establish a new comb, so unless they have that where you see them they will leave. If you anger them by spraying water or knocking the swarm they will very well retaliate!

We have responded to several homes in Mammoth where the same swarm is slowly moving from property to adjacent property trying to find a new home. Pinal Rural Fire and Rescue will remove a swarm if it has stayed for several days, but usually we will just “wait and see” if it moves again.

Once it stays, and makes no sign to be leaving after 4-5 days, we will take care of the swarm for you. But, please, remember all the good honey bees do as they pollenate and create honey before you just try to destroy the swarm. If a swarm stays for more than 3-5 days, call PRF&R at 520-465-5300, and we will help you remove the swarm.

Staff (4561 Posts)

There are news or informational items frequently written by staff or submitted to the Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner, Superior Sun, Pinal Nugget or Oracle Towne Crier for inclusion in our print or digital products. These items are not credited with an author.


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Facebooktwitterby feather

Comments are closed.

  • Additional Stories

    Annual Fiesta de la Primavera to be held this weekend in San Manuel

    April 13th, 2018
    by

       St. Bartholomew’s annual Fiesta de la Primavera promises something for everyone this Saturday from 11 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. at Park […]


    Kearny Glass & Mirror business to be featured on Gas Monkey Garage Rehab

    April 13th, 2018
    by

       Jennifer and Owen O’Brien are the latest owners of Kearny Glass & Mirror. The company has been in business […]


    Kelly Haddad to be honored Friday; admin building in Kearny to be renamed

    April 13th, 2018
    by

      The late Kelly Haddad, a long time Justice of the Peace and political figure in Pinal County, is being […]


    Annual horseshoe tourney set for Saturday in San Manuel – all throwers welcome

    April 13th, 2018
    by

       The annual Fiesta de la Primavera horseshoe tournament is April 14 at the St. Bartholomew Horseshoe Arena, Park Ave. and Main […]


  • Additional Stories

    Arizona Trail hikers, runners and riders attempt 800 miles in a single day

    April 13th, 2018
    by

    TUCSON, Arizona—On Saturday Oct. 6, 2018 more than one thousand people will participate in AZT IN A DAY throughout the […]


    Oracle Horse Owners Evacuation Preparation Group to meet April 12

    April 12th, 2018
    by

      Do you live in Oracle? Do you own horses?   If you answered yes to both questions, ask yourself […]


    Hayden’s Bohrn, Valencia earn AzNFF honors

    April 9th, 2018
    by

      Hayden High School seniors Robert Bohrn and Frankie Valencia, members of the Lobo football team, were honored by the […]


    Two children found dead in vehicle

    March 27th, 2018
    by

        Homicide detectives from the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office were called in to assist the Superior Police Monday night […]


  • Copperarea

  • [Advertisement.]
  • [Advertisement.]
  • [Advertisement.]
  • Southeast Valley Ledger