If you live in southern hemisphere countries like New Zealand or Australia, bee swarming season is from August to January when the weather has turned warm, so swarms of bees may soon be at hand.
Here is what you should do if a swarm of bees pays you an unexpected visit.
Honeybee swarming is triggered by an increased variety of flowering plants, which means more pollen can be gathered for the queen bee so then she can lay more eggs.
When an existing hive grows too crowded a swarm can be triggered. A new queen bee is born, and she flies out on her own to form a new hive, taking a good part of the hive population with her.
Swarms normally create a ball formation, with the queen at the heart of it for both security and warmth.
This is a 2:01-minute video by Keelan Walker of expert beekeepers in New Zealand removing a swarm that was reported:
A more distressing reason for swarming is that bees in a hive run into difficulties like disease, shortage of water or food, or even too many animal or human interactions, forcing them to reduce the number of bees living in the hive.
The sight of a bee swarm heading your way can be intimidating and caution should be taken to ensure that they don’t get inside your home. In particular if you or anyone in your home is allergic to bee stings, take action to close all windows and doors and stay away from the bees. Make sure your children and pets are not outside.
Bees are normally not aggressive and peaceful, wanting only to find a safe place to land. However, it is always advised to keep your distance from a swarm so the bees don’t feel threatened, otherwise they may sting you.
On the other hand, if you fear danger, please do not harm the bees. These insects are incredibly important to humanity and our food supply. They pollinate our crops, so we have a beautiful variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Do not try to kill them with pesticide or in any other way.
It is easy for you to call a beekeeper to come to your property and collect the swarm to take away.
Apiculture New Zealand has a list of trained apiarists who will come to you to collect swarms in order to find them a new home. Their list can be found here. Otherwise check on Facebook groups in your country by searching the topic “beekeeping” and you are bound to find a group that will be glad to help you.
There is something majestic and amazing about seeing thousands of bees swarming all at once, and how they all settle into the same safe place. It is a spectacle to behold, a gift of nature. If a swarm comes your way, hopefully you will see the beauty in it all. Keep a respectful distance and you should have no problems.