Swarm season is upon us

I collected this lovely swarm last night from a neighbour’s yard. He came over and talked to my wife while I was out and he didn’t know what to do about it. So, here are some guidelines:

  1. Don’t panic. Really. That swarm that landed in your tree and sounded like a helicopter while it did is about as docile as bees will ever get. Their focus is on finding a suitable location to set up a new colony. There’s a queen in the middle of that ball of bees and along with all those workers (roughly 10,000 in this case) they’re ready and raring to go. All they need is the right location.
  2. Do not spray them! I can’t emphasize this enough. They absolutely will not bother you unless you bother them. I meant to do it to show my neighbour, but they’re so uninterested in people that I can literally stick my bare hand in there and not get stung. If they’re 6m up in a tree and I can do that, there’s next to nothing that you can do from the ground that would agitate them enough to bother you.
  3. They will eventually leave on their own. A swarm cluster like this is a very temporary thing. They’ll leave with a few hours to a few days at most.
  4. Call a beekeeper. If you really must have them gone ASAP, then a beekeeper is your best bet. We don’t charge a cent to collect a free-hanging swarm like this and will bring you back some honey from the colony later in the season too as a thank you.

Pretty easy, isn’t it? If you’re in or around the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington area, call or text Gord at 613-530-5662. If we can’t take care of it for you, we’ll send someone who can. If you’re outside of our area, Ontario Bee Rescue has a great list of Ontario-registered beekeepers who are looking for swarms. Check them out.

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