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Bee Swarms


Bees play an important role as pollinators of crops and many wild flowers. Managed bee hives also produce honey for human consumption.

Bees are armed with a barbed sting and defend their hive aggressively. Most stings cause intense local pain and swelling. However, if a person is allergic to bee venom, a sting may cause a severe allergic reaction requiring urgent medical attention.

Overcrowding in a hive may prompt the bees to swarm and search for a new site to establish a colony. This usually occurs between September and December, when the weather becomes warmer.

Swarming bees will cluster on a bush or other object while scouts search for a permanent nesting site. Swarming bees are not usually inclined to sting, provided they are left alone.

Dealing with bee swarms:

  • Keep children and pets away from the swarm
  • Do not interfere with the swarm or attempt to move it yourself
  • Arrange for a licensed beekeeper to collect and remove the swarm.

To locate a licensed beekeeper in your area contact the Amateur Beekeepers Association.

If a swarm has moved into a wall cavity or other inaccessible place you will need to arrange for a licensed pest controller to destroy the bees. Licensed pest controllers are listed in the Yellow Pages under Pest Control.

Last updated on 8 July 2015