CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – It’s springtime, and that means it’s nesting season for many insects, especially those with wings and stingers.
Wednesday afternoon in Youngstown, a gentleman had a swarm on his van, a common reminder that bees are looking for a home.
“In the springtime, they [bees] build their numbers up quite a bit, and once they do that, it’s their instinct to lay new queen cells,” Travis Watson, the owner of The Bee Man said. “Once they do that, she stays with the old hive. The old queen takes half that hive and picks up, and they move to find another place to live. That way, you get two hives out of one.”
Along the journey, the queen gets tired. Watson said the queen can usually only fly a few hundred yards before she needs to rest. A pheromone emitted by the queen causes the worker bees to follow. They will clump around her to protect her, causing a swarm.
Typically they will pick up and continue their journey following the scout bees as they look for a new home.
Like the open floor plans on HGTV, bees are looking for hollow trees or in the wall of a house. Once they find a suitable place, they set up shop.
“If you see them hanging in a shrub, call a beekeeper. That way, we can go collect them, and you’re not having them move into anybody’s house, into a place where you don’t want them to get,” Watson said.
If there’s any doubt, ask the employees at Tippecanoe Country Club. They had a hive removed by The Bee Man late Thursday morning in one of their service buildings.
Watson said it was the second biggest hive he’s seen and that it’s been there for a while. He added that the biggest hive he’s ever seen was in 2017 when they removed an 80-year-old hive from a home in Lordstown.
“Typical colonies go 40,000 to 50,000 honey bees. This was on the larger end of it. We saw that there was a queen cell in it, so they were getting ready to swarm,” Watson said.
The colossal hive was discovered last August by employees at the country club, but they waited until spring to remove it so they didn’t harm the bees.
“One was a wasp nest in the building and the other was the honey bees, ” Jake Harold, the golf course superintendent said. “We called this company to come out and remove them for us [last year]. They took care of the wasps and hornets. At that time, they were not able to relocate the honey bees. Just that time of year they weren’t able to successfully remove them and keep them alive, so we waited until this year to call them in to be able to successfully relocate them.”
Harold and General Manager Trent Squire suited up and were able to see the professionals at work removing the bees. They also got to taste some of the honeycomb, and yes, it was delicious.
“I’m glad I had my suit on, that’s all I know,” Harold said.
Watson added that it’s a good time to go around your home or have a professional check for any openings by exhaust pipes or in the walls. He said to get them filled before bees or wasps do first.