It is that time of the year when we are outside and working in our gardens and yards. We are enjoying the company of wildlife from the various birds and insects. Yes, I said insects, like bees.  Our busy little bee friends have been very busy with their jobs as pollinators and making sweet honey. Only weeks ago, a swarm of honey bees halted an Arizona Diamondbacks/Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game for almost two hours!  The hero of the day was not an exterminator; it was a beekeeper who knew how to remove the swarm of honey bees safely. Plus rewarded with having the honor of throwing out the ceremonial first pitch for the game. 

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At first glance, one might think swarming honeybees might be trouble. All those bees are visible in one place.  A bee swarm is not dangerous!  When they are swarming, they are looking for a new home and are at their most docile. Honey bees sting when defending their hive. Bees usually swarm between March and May when a lot of nectar and pollen resources are available. It is not uncommon, however, to see swarms in the summer.

What should you do if you find a swarm of bees?

little boy beekeeper works on an apiary at hive.

Stay out of their way; wait and watch them from a safe distance. Sometimes, the bees are resting and will go away on their own. Take pictures of the swarm, the location, and any information about the swarm that you can provide. Be sure to watch and see where they go. They might have taken flight and left… great!

Do not spray them with water or with over-the-counter products. It might make them mad and may attack. Spraying might be effective at the beginning of the first few. The rest of the colony swarm will be upset and come after you.

Macro of honey bee eating nectar
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Central Washington Beekeepers Association explains, "Honey bee swarms are a natural part of the reproductive cycle of colonies." If you see a swarm on your property, please do not call an exterminator! A beekeeper can safely remove the swarm of bees for you If they don't leave on their own. For swarm removal, contact the Central Washington Beekeepers Association by calling or texting them at 509-895-9773. CWBA has a list of local beekeepers willing to come and remove the bees for you at no cost.

close up of honey bees flying

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