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swarm bee

Swarm Guide - What we need to know & what you need to do!

swarm beeswarm beeApart from houses swarm bees have been found in storages boxes, barbeques, garages, swimming pool motor covers, dog kennels, bird/possum boxes and children's play equipment. 

Our beekeepers can quickly remove swarm bees from your property. We are happy to discuss your situation so give us a call.

When you ring it will help to tell us: - 

  • Where the bees are located?
  • How close they are to your home?
  • If a ladder is required to reach them?
  • How long they have been there?
Bees in Possum Box
Swarm Bees in Possum Box
The following is an extract from 'PRIMEFACT 93' a publication of the NSW Department of Primary Industries by Mick Rankmore, Regulatory Specialist, Apiaries, Agriculture & Fisheries Compliance Operations Gunnedah NSW.

PRIMEFACT 93 - NSW Department of Primary Industries

Swarms

Swarming is part of the natural reproductive life cycle of honey bees. The swarming season is usually between September and December but on rare occasions colonies may swarm at other times. Warmer weather, combined with an abundance of nectar and pollen, stimulate the colony to increase in population. This causes over-crowding which prompts some bees to swarm so they can reproduce. Swarms usually emerge from the colonies between 10.00 am and 2.00 pm on warm sunny days. The old queen, together with about half of the bees from the colony, leave the hive and cluster on a nearby object such as a fence or a small shrub. The swarm may remain for a few hours or 1–2 days while scout bees (worker bees) search for a permanent nesting site. Once found, the swarm will move to this site and establish a new colony.

Bee swarms are not normally aggressive because they are gorged full of honey and are homeless, which reduces their defensive behaviour.

A swarm will become increasingly defensive, if provoked, the longer it remains in a given location. 

In the original colony, a new queen emerges and continues to maintain the parent colony.

Swarms and people

People who are not familiar with honey bees often have a fear of them.

Swarming bees are generally not inclined to sting provided they are left alone, but the following precautions should be taken:

  • If you see a swarm settling on your property keep children and pets inside the house until the flying bees have clustered onto a bush or another object.

  • After the swarm has clustered and most of the bees have stopped flying, it is normally safe to be outside the house.

  • Keep children and animals well away from the swarm.

  • Arrange to have the swarm removed (see ‘Removal of swarms’ below).

  • Wear footwear to protect your feet in case bees have settled on the ground.

  • Do not attempt to move the swarm by hosing it, throwing stones at it, smoking the bees or taking any action to make the swarm move. This action will only aggravate the bees and encourage them to sting in defence. Interfering with the swarm will make it more difficult for a beekeeper or licensed pest control operator to deal with the bees.

Removal of swarms

It is easier to have a swarm cluster removed from your property before it moves to a permanent location, such as a wall cavity, where it will be more difficult and expensive to remove.

Do not attempt to remove a swarm yourself.

State of New South Wales 2005

Don't delay! The longer the swarm is left the more likely it is to become aggressive or find a permanent place in your home. Swarms that have established themselves in homes usually require the services of a licensed pest exterminator and, if your not so lucky, a licensed builder to help get them out of your walls all adding to the cost.

We do charge a small fee for our services however this is considerably less than you will pay to have the swarm removed from your house by the exterminator and the builder. 

What we do with your bees?

We are often asked what we do with the bees after we remove them from your property.

The last thing we as beekeepers want to do is destroy them as bees are such an important part of our ecology! Unlike a pest exterminator, who will poison the swarm, we install them into a box (known as a brood box) before placing them into quarantine where they are regularly inspected for disease.

When our beekeepers are happy that they are disease free they are then incorporated into the general apiary population.

see our services page for more details


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Ridgiedidge - Australian slang for original or genuine article