Bees live in colonies, or hives, as anyone who’s ever taken a biology class can tell you. And if you’ve really paid attention in class, you may remember that in every hive, there is a queen bee. She does all the reproduction, and none of the hard work bees are known for, such as pollination and collecting nectar. That’s the workers’ job. And then there are the males (called drones). Their main purpose is reproduction. Afterwards they are of little use, and are kept and fed by the female worker bees. And so goes the life of the colony, all throughout the productive season.
On occasion, usually in spring, it is not uncommon to see large concentrated swarms of bees up some tree or building, or, even more awe-inspiringly, in flight. This is called swarming. Although it is typical of spring, it may occur all throughout the production season. Let’s look into what happens in more detail. When a colony reaches a critical number of units, the old queen and about half of the colony decide to leave it, thus creating two viable colonies out of one which might not be sustainable. Before departing, the queen bee lays eggs into the queen cups, so the remaining bees would have a queen and thus a chance of survival. She also stops feeding and laying eggs, since she couldn’t fly in that condition. The swarm usually settles not far from the original colony to wait for the scouts to find an ideal place for them to live.
The swarm seems rather formidable; anything between a few thousand to a couple of tens of thousands of bees flowing in a single continuous unit. However, they’re actually surprisingly docile, and it would require significant bothering to provoke any aggressive behavior from them. Throwing stones, spraying water or insecticides might do just that, though. Do NOT do that. It won’t get rid of them, and it will only aggravate them.
So, what can you do about it if attacking it is such a bad idea? A few options are open to you, depending on your disposition towards having them around. If you are really uncomfortable, and don’t want them around, you can ask for live bee removal. There are many companies offering live bee removal, but you really ought to look at those who also have their hand in beekeeping. Knowing how bees are important and threatened, we need to do our best to preserve those that are still around. Your other alternative is to do nothing. A swarm is only there temporarily, until they can find a new home. Once they find a suitable location, the swarm will disperse.
Their choice of new housing might, however, not suit you, since they might pick your walls, or roof, or any other place on your property as their new hive, a permanent home. And who’s to say that your pets or children will not inadvertently provoke them to sting. That’s when you need a residential bee removal. The problem is best resolved as early as possible, since bees work fast; we’re talking hours to set up the colony, rather than days. Residential bee removal does require some degree of structural removal, as it is required to remove all honeycombs to ensure that the colony is removed permanently. Even after a full removal, the site of the former colony needs to be repaired, i.e. the hole needs to be sealed (with insulation, preferably), as bee pheromones will attract scouts of other swarms looking to settle even after a thorough removal.
If bee swarms are a problem you’re encountering anywhere in Laguna Beach or anywhere in Orange County, contact the best in the field, Bee Busters. The Bee Busters started in the beekeeping profession, so we know the ins and outs of the business. All our technicians are fully suited and fully clothed for the job. We are a small business, so we take extra pride in a personal and effective service. Bees don’t take days off, so neither do we. We are available 24/7, 365 days a year. Bee removal in Laguna Beach, Chino, Irvine, or any other of over 50 towns and cities in Orange County is just a phone call away.