Swarming is the bees natural way of reproducing themselves. This usually happens in spring as the colony grows in size and food sources become more plentiful. The workers will prepare new queen cells in preparation for swarming, and when the timing is right the old queen leaves with about half of the workers, after having gorged on honey before the flight. This cluster of bees will often land in a nearby tree, on the side of a house or fence posts, while scout bees go out in search for a new home.
Seeing a swarm come into land is an amazing experience for some, or horrifically frightening for others! Either way, it is important that we look at collecting and rehoming swarms as soon as possible, as otherwise they can take up residence in unwanted places such as cavities in your house walls, compost bins, possum and bird boxes or anywhere else that they decide is warm, dry, and roomy enough for their colony. Removing an established colony from an area like this is a much more involved and costly endeavour! If you notice a swarm or have one land in your garden, please contact a beekeeper to remove them rather than a pest controller. Some beekeepers are happy to do this for free or may have a small fee to cover costs of travel petrol and the equipment required to re-home the bees.
Please get in touch if you need to report a swarm... if I cannot help you, I will be able to put you in touch with a beekeeper that can! I charge a small fee as above depending on location and complexity of the removal, usually between $50-$100.
“Holly’s Backyard Pantry has been a fantastic incursion for our kinder students. Holly’s friendly and approachable manner has encouraged every student to experience the life of bees first-hand. Meeting a real bee colony up close is such a unique experience and our students learn so much through this program.”
Sarah Wheatland (Kindergarten Teacher)