Bee Swarms Common This Spring - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Bee Swarms Common This Spring

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From news release:

BEE SWARMS COMMON THIS SPRING

Bee swarms occur most commonly during the early Spring when new queens decide to spread their wings and take part of the mother colony with her to a new nest site.  Bee swarms are just simply families of homeless bees in search of new places to settle.

The problem with swarming bees doesn't have to do with danger from their stings.  This is because bees in swarms are much less likely to exhibit aggressive behavior than bees which have a nest to defend.  The problem with swarms is that there are not a lot of acceptable nesting sites in urban neighborhoods.  If a nest settles in a backyard tree, it could pose a hazard to gardeners or children.  And if a colony discovers a way into your house, you could also get stung in the pocketbook.

If they can find a way in, bees willingly take up residence in the walls or ceiling of homes and other human structures.  If this happens, the nest will have to be removed, preferably by an experienced professional and often at significant cost.  If nest are not removed, after time the accumulation of wax, honey and dead bees may produce objectionable odors and attract pests like mice, ants, cockroaches and other scavenger insects.

Although some people prefer to leave their wild bee swarms alone, since many of the swarms move on in 3 to 4 days, the safest course in urban areas is to hire a professional exterminator to remove the swarm or exterminate it, before it can discover a way into your home.

Homeowners can also handle the job themselves with an inexpensive sprayer and soapy water.  Liquid dishwashing detergent mixed with water can be sprayed through a sprayer to kill exposed bees.  Soapy water is less likely to agitate bees than other methods.  A mixture of 1 cup of liquid soap in a gallon of water will immediately disable bees that are wetted with the solution.  Wetted bees die quickly.  Continue to spray the swarm as the outer layer of bees falls to the ground.  All bees must be thoroughly covered with soapy water to ensure that the swarm is eliminated.  Catch dying bees in a garbage bag or trash can as the bees are sprayed with soapy solution.

Regular honey bees and Africanized honey bees ("killer bees") are so closely related that it is impossible to tell them apart except with genetic analysis or under a microscope.  Both types of bees are sensitive to nest disturbance, however, Africanized bees respond more quickly, send more bees from the colony to drive the intruder away, and pursue intruders farther than regular honey bees do.

The venom of Africanized bees is chemically identical to regular honey bees, but they are a greater threat because they are more likely to sting in greater numbers.

For more information on bees, please visit http://honeybee.tamu.edu.