What is a swarm?
Swarming is the natural means of reproduction of honey bees. In the process of swarming the original single colony reproduces to two and sometimes more colonies. The reproduction swarms settles 20–30 yards away from the original nest for a few days and will then leave for a new nest site after scout bees find a suitable cavity in which to build the swarm’s new home.
Am I in any danger?
A swarm of bees can be a frightening sight, though the bees are usually not aggressive at this stage of their life cycle. This is mostly due to their lack of brood (baby bees) and stores (honey, pollen) to defend. This does not mean that bees from a swarm will not attack if they perceive a threat; however, most bees only attack in response to intrusions against their colony, so it is important to keep a good distance from the swarm. One of these experienced beekeepers will be happy to relocate the swarm for you, in most cases, at no cost to you.
What is an established hive?
An established hive is usually located within a structure like walls, utility meter boxes, attics, roof eaves, etc. The nest will likely contain brood (baby bees) and stores (honey, pollen) and the bees will be far more protective of their resources than a swarm. The removal of an established have is a complex issue and requires expertise. Sometimes, locating the nest within the structures requires specialized tools like heat sensing cameras to avoid unnecessary damage to the structure.
Before contacting a beekeeper, please be prepared to answer these questions:
- How high is the entrance?
- Is an immediate danger to people or animals?
- How long have they been there?
Keep in mind that removals can be costly and take from hours to days to do it properly and safely. One of the beekeepers listed here should be able to tell you what to expect before any work begins