Bee Swarms are Returning with Warm Weather
April 1, 2016
submitted by Nate Reade, Agricultural Commissioner, Inyo and Mono County
Reports of bees swarming in in our local area have been on the increase during the last few weeks. Swarming activity is typical during this time of the year, as a portion of a beehive splits and looks for a suitable new home. Swarms are most likely to occur during the warmer hours of the spring and early summer. Although these swarms may seem disturbing, it is key to note that during swarming activities the bees have no hive to defend, and are in the most docile stage of colony development. It is important to not disturb the swarm if possible and to avoid the area until the swarm moves, especially if one is allergic to bee stings. In almost every instance, the swarm will leave the area as scout bees return and communicate to the swarm where they have discovered good areas to build a hive.
These swarms are typically wild European honeybees (Apis millifera), the same species that are most used by commercial beekeepers. For many reasons, European honeybee populations have been in decline over the last several years. These insects provide many beneficial activities, including producing honey and pollinating many of our food crops and native plants.
If you have any questions regarding bee swarms, feel free to contact the Inyo/Mono Agricultural Commissioner’s Office at 760.873.7860.