Bee season is here: What to do if you get caught up in a bee swarm

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –Bee season is here and it’s going to last at least another month. New Mexico beekeepers say that’s when bees are out scouting for a new place to live.

Seeing a handful of bees on their own can sometimes be alarming, but a swarm is a different story. A swarm looks like a big ball or cluster of bees and when that big ball of bees is on something, the best thing to do is get on the phone and call a beekeeper.

“If you see a swarm on a tree it’s a really great time to say ‘hey bees come to this hive box don’t go into someone’s walls or whatever,'” said Amy Owen, owner of Desert Hives. The bees then end up in the hands of someone like Owen, a beekeeper in the East Mountains.

“Here in the Albuquerque area, we have our swarm list,” said Owen. That list shows dozens of beekeepers ready to move swarms safely, no matter where they are.

A unique removal happened back in March in Las Cruces. A swarm of nearly 15,000 bees invaded a car, while the owner was inside shopping at a grocery store. An off-duty firefighter, who is also a beekeeper, cleared them out without hurting them.

“The healthiest hives are the ones that are going to be swarming,” said Owen. When swarms are killed off, we are directly impacting the future of honey bees in our area.

“You are going to have fewer and fewer bees in that area to pollinate crops or people’s gardens and stuff like that,” said Owen. Once the professionals have them, the bees can do their job without getting in anyone’s way.

These removals are done free of charge but if you wait and the swarm makes a home within your walls that is when it’s going to cost you.

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