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  • David Crews


Updated: Apr 26, 2022

Honey bees are vital to our every day way of life. As polinators they are responsible for aiding in the production of 1/3 of all of the food we eat. Without them, life on earth would be very different. And not in a good way. Fortunately they are plentiful, hardy and they steadily reproduce in order to preserve the species. This reproduction results in swarms being cast off of a hive where a large number of bees along with a queen bee leave their home hive and set out to find a new location to set up a new hive. Often humans see this activity and associate it with danger, either seeing a large cloud of bees flying around in an area resembling a smoke cloud circling or as a bundle of bees all balled up in one location, like a limb of a tree or hjanging off of a mailbox. Neither of these conditions are dangerous unless the person does something stupid. This is where a little knowledge can be helpful. Honey bees typically only sting in defense of their hive. After stinging something, they die. Since a swarm does not have a hive to defend, they are generally very passive and are not out to sting you. However, disturbing them or attacking them, such as swatting them or spraying them with something will trigger their defense mechanism and will cause some to get aggressive. SO DON'T SWAT, AND DON'T SPRAY. If you are scared of them, just walk away to a safe distance. When it comes to a ball of bees or a hive in your home where bees are flying in and out through some opening, spraying them with the idea that you are going to somehow "get rid" of them is a terrible idea. And fruitless at best. As a swarm, a huge ball of bees, there can be as many as 5,000 or as many as 25,000 in this ball. Trying to spray them with something will most likely just trigger their defense mechanism and turn what was a beautiful ball of very passive bees into an angry cloud of hostile little warriors intent on stinging everything in sight, and conjure up images of an apocalyptic nightmare. Spraying bees that are flying around an opening in your house thinking you are accomplishing something positive is completely false. First, what you see on the outside is only a small fraction of whats actually already inside. Remember that swarm you saw in a ball that had 25,000 bees in it, that's what's inside now. Also spraying the workers outside weakens the hive and could cause it to die off INSIDE your house which is not desirable either. A large swarm of bees has the equivilant bio mass as a raccoon or small dog. You don't want that dead and rotting in your walls or over your ceiling. Having a healthy, clean hive is what you want when you get a qualified expert to come remove them. So, never spray honey bees. Call an expert to deal with them and continue to enjoy all of the benefits that our awesome friends, the honey bee provide.

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