What To Do If You Find Swarming Bees
Every year, as we make a quick warmup in Southwest Oklahoma, we forget how fast nature comes flooding back into our everyday lives. Naturally, since we're in the cradle of life for venomous snakes, most people are pretty aware of the danger with our native populations of various rattlesnakes and pit vipers, but the one thing that eludes common knowledge is "What do you do with a swarm of bees?"
I think the kid in all of us have these irrational fears of bees thanks to 90's classics like My Girl and Candyman. Besides, if you've ever experienced a bee sting, it's not fun... but if you're armed with a little knowledge, you'll come to accept these terrifying little insects for what they are, valuable creatures in the food chain of the earth.
This is the time of year that we'll start seeing swarms of bees bundled up around random objects or on tree limbs and such. They're not a danger to you, they're just looking for a new home in the natural process of how things work. You see, when a hive gets big enough, it will divide. A few hundred or thousand bees will take off to find and establish a new hive. It's during this process that we see the bees all balled up. They have no home, no offspring, and no honey to defend, so they really are harmless. When they congregate like this, they're often just taking a rest while other members of the hive go out and look for a suitable location to live... ei - a hollow tree, a hole into an attic, just about anywhere that will house the new hive. The bees might chill out in their entourage for a few hours or even a few days, but eventually they'll be on their way never to be seen as a whole again.
"But what if they swarm near my home and family and I can't think like a full grown adult?"
It's understandable. Luckily, there are tons of beekeepers out there more than willing to come collect your ronin hive and place it in greener pastures.
Things you do not want to do...
Bees already have it bad enough trying to stay alive in the world we've changed so much of, the last thing you want to do is start carpet-bombing them with pesticides and sprays. They're very beneficial creatures to human lives, let them live. Don't be swatting at them or trying to chase them off either. At that point you're elevating from a state of Karen to a full blown Susan. If they make you irrationally nervous, call a local beekeeper and let them take care of it for you. Most of them will do it for free.
Swarming bees is a sign of a healthy hive. They are harmless and not a threat to you until you make yourself a threat. They'll only temporarily stay in their bee-ball for a few hours, occasionally a few days. Spraying and killing them is on the same level as killing puppies with a hammer for sport. Beekeepers will usually remove them for you at no charge if you just "can't even."