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Reports of bee swarms surging: what to do if you find one



Little Rock, Arkansas – The University of Arkansas Agriculture Cooperative’s experts reported that they have already received calls from people reporting sightings of swarms of honeybees.

Some bees in a colony may decide to leave their hive and raise a new queen bee when things get too congested in the hive.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s Dr. Jon Zawislak, a local entomologist, adds that bees can form swarms that resemble large balls on trees, fences, buildings, and even mailboxes.

According to Zawislak, you should get in touch with a beekeeper or your local agriculture cooperative if you come across a swarm on your land and would like it removed. They can safely remove the swarm without endangering the bees.

“When we get a call about a honeybee swarm that is a positive thing,” Zawislak said. “That means that we have a good population of bees here in the state and if we can catch them while they are out looking for a home then we can make sure they go to a good place where they are wanted.”

“Honeybees are very beneficial so if you see a swarm do not spray it with a garden hose. Do not call your exterminator. Do not try to spray it down with insecticide. Do not throw rocks at it. Just call someone who cares about them and we can take them away,” Zawislak continued.

According to Zawislak, having these honeybees around has advantages such as pollination, and some individuals even consume the honey for therapeutic purposes.

“A lot of people ask if eating local honey will cure their allergies,” said Zawislak. “For some people, it can have an effect. Honey does contain pollen so if the honeybees are collecting pollen and nectar from local plants that you happen to be allergic to it may provide some relief if you consume that honey over a long period and kind of desensitize your body to it. A lot of it depends on what you personally are allergic to and maybe what those bees have been forging on.”

It’s crucial to understand that these swarms are not harmful, but if you see them, please leave them alone.

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