Honey bee swarming season is right around the corner. In some areas it has already begun.
While impressive, and maybe a little frightening (Okay maybe very frightening), bee swarms are usually harmless if left unmolested; however with the increased presence of Africanised honey bee colonies in Southern California, you should always keep a safe distance between yourself and any bee swarm you encounter.
Why do honey bees swarm?
The simple answer is often overpopulation. When a hive reaches capacity, a new queen is formed and she, along with a few thousand worker bees will pick a nice day to leave home and start their search for a new place to build a hive.
Along the way, the swarm will usually chose a safe place to rest for a couple of days.
While the hive rests, scouts search for a permanent hive location. In the meantime, the queen emits powerful pheromones that cause the worker bees to swarm around her in a protective ball.
Within a day or two the swarm will usually depart as quickly as it arrived.
What if it is not a rest stop?
Bees resting in the branches of a tree, side of a house, or other exposed location will typically move on within seventy-two hours.
On the other hand, bees that move into the walls of a house, hollow of a tree, or other protected location are probably there to stay.
It’s time to call a professional!
You should NEVER attempt to evict a bee swarm by spraying it with water, smoke, chemical spray, or any other means. Instead, contact an experienced beekeeper.
Of course, if your vehicle needs a smog inspection (STAR Station, “Regular Smog”, etc), don’t call a beekeeper, instead call Just Smogs in Huntington Beach at (714) 596-1019. You can also book an appointment online by clicking here.