If you see a swarm of honey bees, stay calm and call the response line 403-393-2058

Are they dangerous?

No, not typically. Honey bees in this state are out looking for a new home. Their bellies are full of honey and they have no home to defend – they are usually very docile in a swarm state. However, if you are not experiences with bees we recommend that you give them some room while you wait for a beekeeper.

What if they aren’t honey bees?

They are, we promise! No other bee or wasp swarms ike this. If you are seeing a lot of some other kind of creature (i.e. wasps) it means they have a nest or colony there – this is very different from a swarm. Go to our “bees vs wasp” page for information on how to deal with colonies.

Why do they do this?

A swarm is usually the sign of very healthy colony of bees that has grown too big for their hive. This is their way of reproducing as a species – half of an existing colony will leave with their queen, leaving half of the colony behind with a new queen. The swarm is trying to find a new home, but they rest in a cluster somewhere while their scouts are looking for a permanent spot.

What if I *don’t* call the swarm line to have a beekeeper remove them?

The bees will usually make their home in a cavity somewhere nearby; a hallow log, a culvert drain, or in the siding of a home or barn are typical choices for honey bees. Once they have established a site, they are a lot more difficult (and expensive) to remove. Honey bees are domesticated, non-native species, and colonies typically don’t last very long without help from a beekeeper.

Anything else I should do?

If you can do so, please take a picture and send it the Lethbridge Bee Enthusiasts (on Facebook or email). We always love sharing those photos.

Pro tip: If you have the time, watch the beekeeper capture the swarm (from a safe distance, of course). It’s pretty cool.