OPINION: Don't bee frightened of honey bee swarms
It's Honey Bee Swarm Season!
In Washington County, please report any swarm sighting to Tualatin Valley Beekeepers (www.TVBAbees.org) for kind and safe removal.
What is a honeybee swarm?
During the spring and summer months, honey bees will increase their populations in order to harvest the season's pollen and nectar flows and also to propagate their species.
Seeing a bee swarm is a really magical event. A swarm is led by a queen bee and for the first few minutes looks like a bee tornado. Then the group lands in a clump while scout bees look for a great new home.
A swarm may remain in a temporary location for a few hours or a day or more, depending on weather conditions and scout success. Once the scout bees find a new home location, they will inform the swarm, which will move on to that new home.
Should I be scared if I see a swarm?
Honey bees are a stinging insect and can be defensive if provoked or threatened; however, swarms tend to be docile as they have no home to protect.
If you encounter a swarm, simply enjoy them from a comfortable distance, or better yet, call a local beekeeper to come collect them!
There is no need to kill a honey bee swarm.
The bees will depart on their own as soon as they can. They are extremely beneficial to our environment as pollinators. A beekeeper will gladly come remove them promptly.
What should you do if you see or have a honey bee swarm in your area or backyard?
Report the swarm as soon as you can to the Tualatin Valley Beekeepers swarm reporter at www.TVBAbees.org and a local beekeeper will speedily and safely relocate the swarm for you.
Debby Garman is a member of the Tualatin Valley Beekeepers Association. She lives in Hillsboro.
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