POLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – Spring is here, and along with the warmer weather comes honeybee swarms. This means you may notice large groups of honeybees near your home this season and into the summer. We caught up with a local beekeeper who shared what to do should you see a swarm near your yard or home.
You’ve probably heard all the buzz — it’s swarming season for honeybees. Local beekeeper Lori Mowad says swarming occurs when a bee hive or colony becomes too crowded, leaving no room for the bees to expand.
“The worker bees decide to make some queen cells and they force the old bee and 50-60% of the population to leave the hive,” she said.
Mowad says swarm season usually starts around the end of April and through the middle of June. This year, it’s proving to be a good one.
“Last week, I had seven swarms that I retrieved. We had a lot of bees that survived the winter. We had such a wild winter, so the bees needed to split,” she said.
Mowad says if you notice a bee swarm, instead of spraying it and killing the bees, it’s best to call a beekeeper to properly take care of it because bees or pollinators are responsible for one-third of the food we eat.
“So if we kill them off, the clover, the dandelions, nothing like that will get pollinated or our foods and stuff like that. So we really need it for our vegetables,” Mowad said.
When you call up a local beekeeper, oftentimes they’ll come with a bucket and knock the swarm into it. They’ll then put it into a box and transfer it to a new hive or if the hive is low enough, they’ll just snip the branch.
“We snip it, have the bees go in it, and then when we leave, we’ll spray it with some soapy water so that they don’t come back. So it gets rid of the pheromones that the queen leaves,” Mowad said.
Rest assured, although bee swarms may look scary or threatening, Mowad says they don’t pose a huge risk.