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Don't Bug Swarming Honey Bees !

By BEN ANTONIUS/Democrat Staff Writer ( Woodland,California )

A big swarm of  honey bees

Finding a cloud of 40,000 bees in your yard might be a horrifying sight, but one local beekeeper is asking homeowners resist the urge to have exterminators eliminate the insects.

The swarms are honeybees looking for a new home, said local beekeeper Bridgette Stewart and will avoid human contact unless harassed. But in the last week, Stewart said she has heard of several people calling exterminators to eliminate the bees. Instead, she said, people should contact a beekeeper or Yolo County Animal Control officials to harmlessly remove the colony. "We don't have Africanized bees here," she said. "(Honeybees) want to be left alone. It just looks scary. They're not trying to kill anyone."

With warm spring weather comes swarm season, when some bees leave their hive to form another colony with a new queen. The transition means setting up a temporary home along the way, often on the branch of a tree in someone's backyard.

With a little care, she said, a professional beekeeper can remove virtually the entire migrant colony in a day. Any bees left behind will return to their original colony.

The captured bees can then be used for productive purposes like honey production or pollination later on, especially beneficial because many wild bee populations have been deciminated by the varroa mite.

"Don't call an exterminator, unless of course they have gotten into the wall of your house or something," she said. "They need to call a beekeeper immediately when you see a swarm in yard."

Click the Image below to watch a good video on the subject of swarming.

Understanding Swarming Bees

Of course, if you live in an area populated by African Bees - Stay away from any swarm !

 

Updated January 1, 2017

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