Shaina Partridge photo With the arrival of the warmer weather in Chilliwack, bee swarms could be more common, like the one recovered by beekeeper Hans Krul in Garrison Crossing recently.

Chilliwack beekeepers can help if there’s a swarm

Who are you going to call? Read on to find out

With the arrival of the warmer weather in Chilliwack, bee swarms could be more common.

Beekeeper Laura Cameron Delisle has some tips on what to do if anyone finds a swarm.

A swarm could be hanging from a tree or structure, clustered in a group around the honeybee queen.

So what should people do if they spot a swarm in Chilliwack?

The first thing is, don’t panic, says Delisle.

“Honeybees in a swarm are at their gentlest, with no home or honey reserve to defend, they are relatively calm and docile.”

The best thing to do is call a local beekeeper. This does not apply to swarms of wasps, hornets or bumblebees, just honeybees.

“Most beekeepers are happy to come and collect the honeybee swarm as a free service. They have the equipment and knowledge needed to take care of the swarm.”

A swarm occurs when thousands of bees from a hive decide to find another home because of overcrowding, humidity and temperature issues, for example.

“While swarm management is a crucial aspect of beekeeping to prevent the loss of one’s bees, swarming is inherent in honeybee’s nature and so swarms can happen even with the best prevention. After bees decide to leave the hive, they cluster in a group (centered around the queen), until they make up their minds where the next home will be. In this stage, you will find a large clump of bees hanging from a tree/structure – in which they will stay anywhere from one hour to a week, depending on environmental factors, their ability to find a home, and other.

“Call your beekeeper contact – as soon as you spot the swarm. You never know when the bees will decide to change locations – and maybe the next location won’t be as easy to capture (e.g. they might move to a higher elevation (roof tops, tree tops), or inside a building attic/wall, etc.)”

Who to call?

The Chilliwack Beekeeping Community has a list of dedicated ‘swarm catchers’ in our community – who are happy to come collect a honeybee swarm – free of charge. Call Laura Cameron Delisle at 604-819-9278 or email: chilliwackbeekeepers@gmail.com

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