Bee swarm season is here

6:25 PM, May 24, 2010   |    comments
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FALMOUTH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- This is the time of year that bees swarm.  The swarm may leave in a couple of days or it may move into a crevice at your house.  It is best to call a bee keeper to have the swarm removed.

Erin Forbes is one of four Master Bee Keepers in Maine.  She goes out to retrieve such swarms about fifteen times a spring.  She says the bees have moved from a healthy, overpopulated hive.  They have moved with their queen looking for a new home.

Wearing an Italian-styled bee bonnet, Forbes scoops up hundreds of bees which are swarming on a small maple tree.  She puts some in and many near a hive that she has brought with here.  The hive is filled with layers of bees wax on which the bees can build.

Forbes scoops perhaps half the swarm of 15,000 bees in or near the hive.  Soon, thousands of bees start marching into the hive.  Erin figures she must have the queen inside.  Bees communicate with each other by issuing pheromone which other bees can smell.

If you a swarm of bees near your house, you have three choice.  The first is to ignore them, they will most likely go away in a couple of days.  However, sometimes they try to move into a nearby house.

The second is to call a bee keeper.  They will come and relocate the swarm.  Erin brings a portable hive and will nurture the bees for about a year before they will begin producing honey. 

Since the hive has no net value, it is generally considered appropriate to reimburse the bee keeper for the time and trouble.

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