4 Things You Need To Know About Honeybee Swarms

When a honeybee colony becomes overpopulated, about half of the worker bees will fly off with a new queen to start their own colony. This group of bees is called a swarm. If you see a huge number of bees motionless on the side of your house or on a tree in your backyard, this is what you're seeing. Here's what you need to know about honeybee swarms. 

1. Are honeybee swarms dangerous?

Honeybees are not aggressive, but they are very defensive, especially if they think their queen is in danger. If you get too close to the swarm, don't be surprised if you get stung. If you leave the swarm alone, they will leave you alone as well.

2. If you see a swarm, should you be worried about an infestation?

Fortunately, seeing a swarm on the side of your house or in your backyard doesn't mean that the bees are going to move in with you. When the queen gets tired of flying, she lands, and the rest of the swarm lands with her to keep her safe and warm. If there are suitable hollow locations on your property, they may decide to move in, but if there isn't anywhere suitable, they'll fly away.

3. What are suitable hollow locations?

Honeybees are picky when it comes to choosing a new home. They prefer to build their nests at least 3.3 feet from the ground, but they can go as high as 16 feet. The location needs to be hollow, with a small entrance that the bees can easily defend. They're also picky about size. The ideal cavity for a bee's nest is about 45 liters. A hollow tree in your backyard could fit these criteria, and if there are gaps in your home's exterior, your attic or the walls of your house could also fit the bill.

4. How do you get rid of a swarm?

If you see a swarm of honeybees on your property, don't try to deal with it by yourself. The bees will sting you if you get too close. Your first option is to do nothing, and hope that the bees fly away and live somewhere else. Your second option is to be proactive about getting rid of the swarm.

If you choose the second option, try to find a local beekeeper who will take the swarm away for you. Beekeepers use these swarms to grow their bee farms and produce more honey, so they may take them away for free. If you can't find a beekeeper, call a pest control company like ASAP Bee Removal. They will kill the bees for you, and then you won't have to worry about the swarm.

Honeybee swarms aren't always a sign that the bees plan to move in with you, but if you're worried, get rid of them before they get a chance to move in.