Have you ever seen a cloud of bees fill the sky? Or heard the thunderous buzz of thousands of bees filling the whole yard with frenzied bees? Have you ever come upon a giant ball of bees flying across your yard or hanging from a branch, mailbox, fence post or car? If you're like most people you never waited around to see where they went.
But if you'd stayed, you'd have witnessed a magical moment in nature, the birth of a new hive of honeybees.
QUEEN CELLS So what is a swarm? Well, the birthing of a bee colony requires several key stages. First the colony decides its time, and there are basically four reasons and one other cause. Each of these conditions exhibits itself rather noticeably to the trained eye. Watch this:
1) They've run out of space
2) They're responding to abundance
3) Their Queen is no longer viable
4) The queen has unexpectedly died
5) They needed to abscond
1) Swarm cells
2) Multiple Swarm Cells
3) Supercedure Cells
4) Emergency Cells
and 5) They all leave at once
1) Swarm cells are typically along the side of the comb. Often because the comb is full with brood and food. They've run out of space and theres still work to do.
2) If you see multiple frames/bars with swarm cells and not necessarily full beds and pantries, it can mean that the surrounding forage is so abundant the hive needs to franchise. Bees consider a gently swaying flower to be a dance ticket to a swinger.
Too many requests and they need to call for reenforcements.
3) When you find a cell or two in the middle of the comb face but away from the brood area its a sign the colony is secretly going about replacing their queen with a new challenger. As the queen gets old she will eventually begin slowing down from her 1500 eggs a day requirement to support the colony. She could get injured and not be able to keep up. With the increasingly toxic world we live in, the nectar, pollen, wax and water is contaminated. It effects everyone in the hive, even the queen. Sometimes the mortality of brood causes the bees to expel the queen unjustly. Its not her eggs that are bad, but the bedrooms and pantry causing sickness and death.
4) If the queen is suddenly killed or disappears the colony goes into panic mode and tries to find the last egg she laid and if its more more than three days, the eggs have hatched and cannot be moved. They'll find the youngest larvae and begin making "the teardrops of the hive" a queen cell that droops out of sideways brood cell.
5) The only other time a queen leaves the hive other than mating and birthing is if the hive itself is compromised. Many reasons can cause the colony to take off from a functioning hive. Disease, robbers and marauders of every size can make the bees feel threatened, Weather and rot can cause the chamber integrity to be compromised. Lightning or wind can break off a branch exposing the colony to the elements, a bear or even other "robber" bees can destroy a colony and sometimes the bees are able to flee. They'll leave the brood behind and stock up on honey and bee bread while for the journey, and the queen will not have time to "shape up" to the journey so survivability is compromised when they abscond.
Swarms - Honey bee swarms can be safely relocated. Before they settle in.
Cutouts - Remove honey bee hives from homes, buildings, trees and more...
Trapouts - non-destructive luring of the bees away from the colony. An exit-only gate is placed over the entrance and a bait hive is placed close by as a lure. It takes a couple weeks and there are no guarantees... if they gotta go, this is a solution.
Extermination - Wasp & Hornet nest elimination from ground, walls, eaves and swing sets...
That loud buzzing and fast flying sea of bees filling the skies for a hundred feet in all directions seems like a hitchcock nightmare come true, but actually its a bee-mitzfa and we're all welcome.
This is all part of the birthing of a new colony of bees and in these times of massive die-offs, its something important and hopeful to witness. Bee colonies are superorganisms, they exist as a collection of community and not alone on their own. So when bees have a baby, they divide like a splitting cell in biology. When the colony decides to "have a baby" it begins changing. Just like human females, the colony shows obvious signs. An observant beekeeper will notice the signs long before queen cells are formed or the cloud of bees leaves to a new home.
Like bees, swarms have been very misunderstood by "modern society". Throughout the "developing world" people know this magical moment and are not afraid. In fact, throughout Central America, villagers will run out into the streets upon hearing the unmistakable roar of a swarm. They'll carry out pots and pans, clanging and banging as if in celebration with the bees. What they know is that the loud noises frighten the emerging queen causing her to take refuge out of the air. When she stops on a branch, fence, chair or bicycle, the frenzied sky of bees settles all around her, quickly turning into a giant ball of bees.
As a BeeVangelist, catching a swarm is performing magic. We are always mindful of our audience and make it a show for them. Of course our main focus is on the bees at all times, just like Siegfried and Roy keep mind the tigers. But performance is what helps demystify the miracle of bees and that's our mission.
Beekeeping for Bees
All service calls are acted upon as as feasible.
We conduct verbal or visual assessments to discuss removal options and fees.
There's no charge for swarm capture unless you want to keep the bees.
During assessment we will provide options for removal.
Cutouts are conducted when the conditions are best for survival. Temperature and humidity factor into success of the removal.
Cutout means we remove material to expose the colony. It can be a simple operation or quite an ordeal.
We will work with your contractor or recommend vendors we know.
Trap outs are kinda bait and switch operations. They require multiple visits and may not work.
Paper wasps, yellowjackets and hornets can nest in structures, hanging in trees or in the ground.
We use professional chemicals or bag-capture methods for wasps.
We charge mileage and rush charges for customer priority service or distances beyond 10 miles from our headquarters.