Beekeeper says swarms are best if left alone

Beekeeper says swarms are best if left alone

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - We're guilty of doing it. We see a bee, and we want to swat at it. When there's a swarm of them, it can be tough when you don't know what to do.

"The air can be filled with thousands of bees," said Michael Nickell, a scientist at the Sibley Nature Center. "I'll see them take a certain direction and settle down."

Nickell presented a program today on the different types of native bees. He said the one bee question he gets the most calls about is what do you do when you see a swarm. But he says the best thing to do is to not do anything.

Swarms are created when bees establish a new colony. They develop very quickly but don't stay very long. When you see them, Nickell said there's no need to panic since they're not out to get you.

"That's when they're at their most docile time," said Nickell. "They don't have a hive to defend or in route from one place to another. A swarm is very docile so I would encourage if its just a swarm of a fence to leave them alone, they'll be gone about three days."

Nickell says leaving bees alone is not only the best way to keep the bee population steady, but it's also the best way to keep our food supply stocked up.

"We need bees desperately. They provide us with pollination services, our crop plants, our fruits and vegetables. If you like to eat, we need bees of all kinds."

If you really want a swarm removed, you can call the Sibley Nature Center at (432) 684-6827. They have a list of bee keepers wanting swarms so they can establish bee colonies.

Copyright 2017 KWES. All rights reserved.