What to Do When You Encounter a Group of Bees

group of bees bearding

Many people may have experienced a small swarm of bees before, but the swarm of approximately 20,000 bees that closed down Murray Street in Perth’s CBD in October was an unfamiliar sight to most! So why exactly do bees swarm, was the swarm in the CBD out of character, and what do you do if you encounter a swarm in public or on your own property?

To Bee, or Not to Bee: Why Bees Swarm

When the weather starts to warm up after a cold winter, the queen bee gets buzzzzy, producing more workers and drones for the hive. The size of the bee colony needs to expand to fulfil all the roles of the hive, such as foraging, regulating the temperature in the hive, feeding one another and guarding the colony,

When the colony becomes too big, the queen bee, along with part of the colony, stock up on nectar before heading off to find a new home to establish another colony. This is where you will experience “swarming”; the natural phenomenon usually occurs from spring to early summer. 

The “scout bees” will leave the new colony to scout for a new home; sometimes the search is successful, but sometimes due to adverse weather, a swarm may choose a temporarily attach to a structure, which may eventually become their permanent home if there is nowhere else suitable!

Why Do Bees Fly in a Clump?

While the worker bees are all important in their own right, the queen bee needs the greatest care and protection of all! Interestingly enough, the queen is not as strong at flying as the others are, so when the bees are on the move, the queen may need to stop to take a breather on a branch, post or another structure.

While the bees are moving, all of the worker bees gather around the queen and form a clump-like structure to ensure she is protected.

Are Swarms Dangerous?

Bees are not normally aggressive; when they are swarming, they are on the search for a new home, not to attack you! If you experience a bee swarm, it is important to keep your distance and not interfere, as they may sting you if they feel they are under attack.

Sometimes bees may choose some inconvenient places to swarm and cluster while they find their new home, which may be the front of a shop in the CBD, your home, your garden or your workplace. It is important not to threaten them or interfere with them, as it will make things difficult for the person who has to remove the swarm. If you experience a bee swarm and require bee removal in Perth, contact The Pest Guys as soon as possible to help you!

Bearding Vs Swarming: The Difference

Not to be confused with swarming, bearding is the term for bees assembling outside of the hive when the weather is hot or humid. Bees crawl out of the hive to avoid over-crowding and lack of ventilation in the hive, they generally will not become airborne like swarming bees will.

Bearding normally occurs in mid to late summer, while swarming occurs in mid to late spring.

What to Do If a Swarm Comes Near Your Home

Dealing with a bee swarm, as with all pest management here in Perth, involves patience, common sense and The Pest Guys! We have a few tips to make the process as easy as possible:

  • Keep children, pets and anyone with allergies inside the house until the bees have moved on or found another object in your garden to cluster on. Once the bees are no longer swarming, it is usually safe to move around outside the house.
  • Arrange to have the swarm removed by The Pest Guys.
  • Wear footwear to protect your feet from any bees that may be on the ground
  • Do not spray the swarm with pesticide, hose it, throw objects at it or undertake any actions that may threaten the swarm – this will only aggravate the bees and make removal more difficult.

When it comes to swarming bees, it is important to remember that swarming is an important part of the bee life cycle; they are not out to attack you, just to find a new home! If you do come across a bee swarm in an inconvenient place, make sure you contact The Pest Guys today for all your bee removal advice!