Bee swarms in the yard

Help! We have had three honey bee swarms in our yard over the past ten days. We contacted a bee keeper and he collected two of the swarms and took them appoximately five miles away to his hives.

What is attracting these bees to our country yard and how can we stop it? We are concerned about our children and pets.

Comments for Bee swarms in the yard

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Jun 01, 2010
What do I do?
by: Tabatha devilliers

Thank you for the info.
I have a swam happening today in my front yard.
I don't know if they are moving in or out.
I live in Mobile AL and have many pets and children in the neighborhood should I set up a bait hive or wait it out?

May 25, 2009
Ideas on how to get rid of bee swarms
by: Miles Stair AUTHOR The Honey Factory

Bees swarm from a hive for environmental reasons, usually overcrowding. They detect high levels of carbon dioxide to determine hive population. The colony of bees prepare to swarm for weeks, creating new "swarm cells" at the bottom of a frame (established hive) or bottom of a comb (wild "feral" colony). The queen attendants keep the established queen away from the swarm cells and slim her down so she can fly. The first "swarm" from a hive is with the old queen, usually leaving with 40 - 50% of the bees. Subsequent swarms are actually "casts" with a new queen, each leaving with approximately 25% of the bees. Hive workers fill up on honey before they leave as they may not eat for a week or more

A colony of bees in an established hive can be prevented from swarming by expanding the size of the hive and removing the swarm cells of new queens before they hatch. In a wild colony nothing can be done by definition because the "hive" cannot be manipulated. The swarms (or casts) leave the hive generally between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM, although a later time of leaving is not uncommon. The swarm will form a circle of worker bees (no drones), drift with the wind for up to half a mile or more. They alight on a likely looking bush or tree or even the side of a building and cluster about the queen to keep her warm. From there, scouts are sent off to look for a new home. They report back to the cluster, report the location of what they found, and if it appears good enough the swarm will leave in a roar and move to the new location.

When full of honey, bees cannot bend their bodies. Bees are absolutely singleminded in the pursuit of a new home. I have walked into the middle of a swarm many times and not been stung, even though literally covered with bees. You are downwind of a colony that wants to swarm. Good news is swarming cannot continue from a single colony because of the division of the colony each time there is a swarm. If a beekeeper is upwind, they should be told to work on their hives and stop the swarming by hive manipulation. If the swarm is coming from a feral colony, swarming will stop on its own. There is nothing you can do to stop swarms drifting to your yard.

I had "bee trees" in a forest next door. Every year there would be swarms coming from the woods and would cluster in my yard. I set up a deep hive body with foundation on their flight path and often caught swarms in that bait hive. From there they could easily be moved to a new location at least a mile away so they would not return. Talk to a nearby beekeeper. If a wild "bee tree" is producing the swarms, ask if they will set up a bait hive in the area where the bees cluster in your property. That bait hive can be removed just after dark and solve that problem. Otherwise, just wait them out as the swarms literally cannot continue, knowing that the bees do not want to sting, they simply want another home because the old one was overcrowded.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Bees.

Home   |   Contact Me   |   Links   |   Privacy Policy   |   Site Map   |   Twitter

Healthy Gardens are Home To Frogs

Enter Your E-mail Address
Enter Your First Name (optional)

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Sustainable Gardening Tips.