Here in the Comox Valley, every year at this time, many small-scale beekeepers are looking to prevent swarms.
For those people who are fortunate enough to have a small-scale beekeeper in your neighbourhood, you may be treated to one of mother nature’s most amazing spectacles; a tornado of bees swirling and circling around the queen while their scouts look for a new home.
Honey bee swarms are not dangerous and honey bees in general are not aggressive. A swarm is the bees’ natural inclination to populate a new hive in a new location (beekeepers try to prevent this because those bees are valuable foragers for the nectar flow and ultimate honey crop).
Before the bees decide to leave their hive with the old queen and look for a new home, they fill up their stomachs with honey and nectar, which they will need to build honeycomb for the queen to start laying. With their abdomens distended and full of honey and their task at hand to find a new home, they are even less likely to be able or inclined to sting.
So if you are fortunate enough to see a swarm, enjoy the spectacle without fear and if one lands near where you live or you see one on a tree branch or building, please call any one of our 12 ‘Swarm Catchers’ in the Comox Valley Beekeeping Club at bit.ly/1PdQmlX
Beekeepers will always be happy to come and hive a swarm. Swarms are a valuable resource and local beekeepers work hard to help them survive against all the odds they face these days.