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 (740 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.

  • Stories Just Posted

    Knights of Columbus People with Intellectual Disabilities Drive October 16, 2014

    12 hours ago
    by

    Maybe you’ve seen them in Tucson and Oro Valley, in front of Fry’s or Safeway, giving away tootsie-rolls. They are […]


    Taking the fear out of Halloween for young kids

    13 hours ago
    by

    Halloween can be a fun time of year, but for infants, toddlers and preschoolers – who often can’t distinguish between […]


    Arizona Trails 2015 Draft Plan Available for Public Comment until November 19

    13 hours ago
    by

    Phoenix – Every five years, the recreational trails staff at Arizona State Parks prepares an information-filled report concerning Arizona’s motorized […]


    Arizona Senator Commits to Land Swap Bill

    October 23rd, 2014
    by

    By Senator John McCain Driving through Superior last week, I saw the boarded-up shops that line its Main Street. I […]


  • Stories Just For You

    Panthers clinch playoff berth with Homecoming win

    October 22nd, 2014
    by

    Superior Sun The Superior football team may or may not have needed to win last Friday’s Homecoming game against Hayden to reach the State Playoffs.


    SHS Student Council produces and directs a FABULOUS homecoming!

    October 22nd, 2014
    by

    Last week the Superior Panthers had Hollywood on their minds as they celebrated their homecoming.


    Magma Hotel owner updates Chamber of Commerce; Skeptics, beware – the Magma Hotel is opening soon!

    October 22nd, 2014
    by

    On Wednesday, more than 100 business leaders and residents from throughout the community and region attended the monthly chamber luncheon to get an update on the


    Bearcats ready for playoffs after finale win

    October 21st, 2014
    by

    Copper Basin News The Ray football team ended its regular season with a road win last Friday night, defeating Arête Prep, 62 – 14.


  • Facebook

  • [Advertisement.]
  • Arizona Headlines & Current Weather

  • Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin