Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rogue Honey Bee Swarms?

13 July 2010


Does that word instill fear in you? Does your heart race, heightened by 10 thousand bees or more, buzzing around, maybe even darkening the sky? Olivia de Havilland nightmares?

Well, for myself and other Mellitophiles (Bee-Lovers), encountering a wild swarm normally evokes feelings of awe and warm fuzzy feelings. After all, a swarm is traditionally viewed as a gentle entity, just looking to find a place to build a home and thrive. A swarm event occurs when a mother colony divides, sending the queen and thousands of her children, off to build a new colony in a new location. Normally, with proper care, a swarm is not very defensive, and can be caught, to be relocated in a hive box. All good, right?

NOT! This year 2010 we've encountered several swarms that have attacked us full on, and in one case our technician suffered hundreds of stings before he could get away. These are Africanized Bee swarm traits, and these experiences have really opened our eyes. We've heard of this behavior, but have not previously encountered such ferocious swarms, especially in Central Florida, north of Orlando. Please folks, treat bees with respect, and bee prepared if you should try to take on a swarm. Or better yet , give us a call!! 800-343-5317

...(photo of a swarm I captured in Jacksonville, FL.--- a gentle swarm )