Bee Swarms

Spring is the time of year when you are likely to see a few bee swarms.  For those that don't know much about swarms I thought I would explain what they are, why bees swarm and what to do if you have one turn up at your place.Firstly, have a look at one of our beehives swarming!

What is a Swarm and Why do Bees Swarm?

Mainly in springtime you may see a very large group of bees flying together or you may see a big clump (like a ball) of bees hanging from a branch, on a fence, against your house, or some other place.  This is a swarm of bees.  A swarm is when a queen bee takes a large group of worker bees (usually about 50-60% of the hive) with her and leaves the hive to find a new home.  It is a natural means of reproduction for bee colonies.   A swarm of bees could consist of thousands to tens of thousands of bees.

The reason bees swarm could be due to one of these causes

  • There are two queens in a hive so one takes half the bees out and finds another home
  • There are too many bees for one hive, a new queen is created and the old queen moves off with some of the bees
  • The bees are simply predisposed genetically to swarming (instinctive)

​What to Do if You are in the Path of Moving Swarm

  • Don't panic! Don't run!  
  • Don't fling your arms around!  
  • Just remember they will have filled up on honey before they left and will be docile and unable to sting.  
  • But to be safe just crouch down low and stay still until they pass. 

​What to Do if you Have a Swarm on your Property

  • Don't panic!  
  • Don't touch them!  
  • Don't spray them!  
  • They will not harm you unless you harm them.
  • The best thing you can do is to get hold of a local beekeeper to come and collect it. There are hobby beekeeping clubs all around the country and they are often looking for swarms to fill new hives.

Look for a beekeeper in your area on the National Beekeepers Association website.  Or google a hobby beekeeper's club near you.  

Here are some club websites:

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