Grown Here at Home: Spring is swarming season for bees

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) It’s spring time, which means the bees are buzzing!

"Right now in spring is a busy time for beekeepers because you have a lot going on. During April, May and June, bees naturally tend to swarm. And this is how they reproduce," said Robert Howard, President of the Blue Ridge Beekeepers Association

Half the bees in a colony will leave and find a new home.

"One hive becomes two and produce in nature, so during this time of year, bees are particularly prone to doing that because it's a great time for them to do it," Howard said. "They are at their most docile when they are swarming. They have nothing to defend. They're just looking for a new home. And you will see them up in a tree and it will be a basketball sized clump of bees," he explained.

Seeing a clump of bees zooming through the air can be a little intimidating, but Robert says there’s really no need to worry.

"Some people may panic and just immediately reach for the poison thinking I have to kill these things, but you don’t. If you wait they will probably move on and find another home. A lot of times the bees don't find a very good home. And most swarms do live through their first year. But if they call a beekeeper we will come and give them a good home, treat them for any diseases or pests that they have and really give the bees the best chance to live," said Howard.

If you see a swarm of honeybees, Howard asks that you contact the Blue Ridge Beekeepers Association. There are several ways:

(540) 871-9939