What is a bee swarm?
- Swarming is the natural process by which a new honey bee colony is formed when the queen bee leaves the colony with a large group of worker bees. In the prime swarm, about 60% of the worker bees leave the original hive location with the old queen.
When a bee colony becomes too large and/or the environmental conditions are right, this stimulates the colony to increase in population and then the colony divides by swarming.
A bee swarm consists of adult bees only, it does not contain comb with brood, honey or pollen.
A swarm of Honey Bees will cluster temporarily at one location, often hanging off the branch of a tree or bush, while scout bees search for a new home. When a suitable home is found the swarm moves as a group to their new home.
Swarms are mainly found in late winter to early summer although on the Sunshine Coast, I have been asked to remove swarms all year round.
Witnessing bees swarming may seem daunting and scary, but despite the thousands of bees buzzing around, they are usually fairly docile. Interfering with bees prior to settling may make them agitated and aggressive and more difficult for a beekeeper to deal with. Within 20 to 30 minutes the swarm will have settled down, where they will form a cluster of bees around the queen, generally hanging from a tree branch or other structure. From this temporary location scout bees will commence looking for a new home. The search for a new home is generally completed within a few hours or days, upon which the swarm leaves its temporary location in a drifting buzzing black cloud, to settle in the new home.
When the swarm is in an accessible location (i.e hanging off the branch of a tree or bush), collecting it is fairly easy. Capturing and removing becomes more difficult once it has entered your walls or roof and becomes a nested colony. Act quickly and call, don’t leave it hoping that it will go away, which it might just do. But it could also end up with them setting up their nest in your home.
What to do when you find a swarm?
We love bees and are always looking to save these wonderful creature at all times.
At Bee Chillin’ Honey, we have removed over 50 swarms so far from backyards on the Sunshine Coast. We use no chemicals (other than smoke) and harm as few bees as possible. The bees collected get relocated and quarantined for a couple of months away from our other apiary sites, to ensure that they have no diseases or pests.
We are based at Sippy Downs, but remove swarms from all over the Sunshine Coast. We remove from both domestic and commercial properties and are a preferred removalist for many real estate agencies. We collect from Caloundra (South), Maleny (East), Yandina (North East) and Coolum (North). We also understand that you don’t get to choose when a bee swarm arrives so we operate 7 days per week. If I’m away or unavailable then I have a few close qualified beekeepers I trust to do the removal.
Contact Grant today on 0401 720 004 to discuss your SWARM REMOVAL