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 (776 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

    Arboretum November Exhibit: Luminary Artist John Aho

    18 hours ago
    by

    Tempe luminary artist John Aho celebrates light, both natural and unnatural. By day he excels at capturing subjects ranging from […]


    Gilbert Artists Teach Camera Basics & Fall Color Nov. 9

    18 hours ago
    by

    Editor’s Note: Gilbert pro photographer Michael Madsen shoots with a Nikon, while Patty Van Herpen prefers Canon. The artistic duo […]


    Freeport-McMoRan Awards $60,000 Grant to Experience Matters to Enhance Women’s Economic Empowerment, Reduce Domestic Violence

    20 hours ago
    by

    Phoenix- Experience Matters, an organization that is creating a stronger, more vibrant community by connecting the skill and passion of […]


    Cowboys, ranchers to be honored at two events

    October 29th, 2014
    by

    Superior Chamber of Commerce will host La Noche de Vaquero, Night of the Cowboy on Saturday Nov.


  • Stories Just For You

    Panthers light up scoreboard in playoff win

    October 29th, 2014
    by

    Superior Sun The ninth-ranked Panthers fell behind early in their first playoff game appearance since 2011, trailing eighth-ranked Glendale Prep by two touchdowns in the first quarter.


    Elder Yocum’s four TDs leads Bearcats to playoff win

    October 29th, 2014
    by

    Copper Basin News Senior quarterback Destry Yocum threw for three touchdowns and ran for another in the sixth-ranked Bearcats first-round playoff victory over the Salome last Saturday night.


    Bob Padilla joins the Florence Hall of Fame with brother Art

    October 29th, 2014
    by

    Florence – Bobby Padilla was excited when he got the call that he would be entering the Florence Hall of Fame for his accomplishments as a Florence High Gopher football player.


    Free arsenic and lead testing for children, pregnant women offered in Winkelman, Hayden

    October 29th, 2014
    by

    The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that there are high levels of arsenic and lead in the air, in tailings and other waste piles, and in the soil of


  • Facebook

  • [Advertisement.]
  • Arizona Headlines & Current Weather

  • Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin