Swarms

Honey Bee Swarms

Spring is Honey Bee swarm season!  In Hanover County and neighboring areas, swarms are most plentiful from March through June. You may see swarms at other times as well but the peak swarm season is spring.

Honey Bee swarms are not produced to frighten unsuspecting citizens who come across a buzzing ball of bees in their landscape, but to create a new honey bee colony. The beneficial pollinators are following one of nature’s oldest rituals – starting a new colony during the time of the year when they may store enough honey to make it through the coming winter.

When bees swarm, half of the colony leaves home with their queen to start the new colony. The remaining bees in the old colony will rear a new queen. The issuing swarm is quite spectacular with thousands of bees filling the air with loud buzzing. Slowly they coalesce around their queen on a tree limb or other object.

Swarm on a tree limb
Swarm on a tree limb

Swarm-in-Tree

The swarm on a branch or mailbox is generally only resting while bee scouts find a suitable cavity for a new home; they typically move on within 24 hours. If you would like the bees removed in a timelier manner, beekeepers would be happy to relocate them for you, usually at no charge.
Swarm-Mailbox

Because they have no food stores or young to protect, swarms are quite docile and do not pose a threat to people as long as not disturbed, however, the sight of them can be quite alarming. Please keep children and pets away from swarms in order to prevent an accident.

If you find a swarm of bees on your property, please do not spray them with pesticides; find one of the "Swarm Patrol" members below that covers the area where the swarm is located and give them a call. If they are not available, call another. Please give us a chance to come capture them and put them back to work pollinating our food crops.

Swarm Patrol

King William, Mechanicsville, Tappahannock, West Point, King & Queen - Bob @ 804-238-3095

Ashland, Elmont, Glen Allen, Atlee - Paul or Barbara @ 804-382-7338

Henrico, Hanover, Richmond, Ashland - Rene @ 804-432-1331

Hanover, Caroline, Ashland - Bobby @ 804-387-6412 or 804-227-3930

Hanover, (Montpelier, Ashland, Mechanicsville, Richmond (Henrico) - Bruce 857-636-0500

Western Hanover - Jim 573-579-3957

Henrico, Western Hanover - Jack @ 804-788-1220

Hanover Courthouse - Andrew @ 804-833-7061

King William, King & Queen, Hanover - Willie @ 804-512-2425

Goochland, Louisa, Hanover, Henrico - Peter @ 804-516-3638

Goochland, Louisa, Hanover, Caroline - Noah @ 540-671-9028

Short Pump Area, North & West - Ed @ 757-774-8669

Hanover, Ashland, Henrico, Richmond - John @ 804-542-7406 or 804-769-3042

Eastern Henrico, Hanover, New Kent - Don @ 804-326-1484 or 804-241-9728

Richmond, Hanover, Henrico, Louisa, Powhatan - Mark @ 804-339-7820

King William and central King & Queen - Shawn @ 804-218-4091

IMG_0575- Conrad Swarm - resized