Bees: Swarms vs Hives and What Do You Do?

Bee Hives Los Angeles

By: Jason Baacke, Versa-Tech Founder / CEO

Greater Los Angeles & Orange County, California Bee Swarms & Bee Hives

Identifying Bee Swarms

A bee swarm is one-way bees can travel from place to place. They are basically a group of bees trying to find a new place to make a hive. The swarm is led by, and tasked with protecting the queen. The queen is generally a young or new queen that has left her hive of origin. Other bees rely on the queen’s pheromone causing them to travel with her with the hopes of making honey. 

The new queen is very exposed and new bees ‘join up’ as she moves about from place to place in search of a good place to start building honeycomb. Depending on how long the new queen has been house hunting, can affect the number of bees in the swarm. Swarms can also occur when bees leave a hive to make a new one. These swarms can be exceptionally large and appear to swirl. This can also happen if a hive is damaged, disturbed, or the queen is removed. This can occur naturally as well.

Swarms can cause traffic jams and flight delays. The swarms seen in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas are smaller in size and number of bees. Swarms are most often noticed while they are on the move, and as they stop to rest and huddle.

They can cause a ball like formation or a pile of bees. They can land in the oddest places such as tires on a car, on the side of a building, on the ground in a parking lot, and at times on windows. The most common place is a tree branch. Do not approach this swarm, they are most likely to be overly aggressive. The best thing to do if you come across a bee swarm is to leave it alone. You may clear the area around it and leave the rest up to the professionals. If it occurs at your home, try to confirm if the bees have entered the structure. If not, I suggest waiting 48hrs if they pose no immediate Harm. The swarm may choose to move on. If it remains, contact a pest management company to advise and remove. If the swarm has made entry into the structure, contact a pest management company ASAP. The best time to service the bees is very early morning before the temperature rises above 70. This will ensure that the bees remain calm due to the time of day and lower temperature of the weather.

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Identifying Bee Hives

A bee hive is the result of the swarm setting up residence. A hive will have many sections of honeycomb producing honey. The hive will be an established machine of social and economic efficiency. Bees will group into casts with specific jobs for life. The bigger the hive, the more bees. In our Southern California urban areas, we find hives in all kinds of spots. The most common exterior areas are sprinkler or electrical boxes, backyard sheds or storage areas, under decks, and the good old tree hole.

In homes, attics are the most common spot. Bees enter the attic through a missing attic vent screen or a crack in the shiplap under the eves or beside the chimney. An established hive can begin to stain the interior wall or ceiling with honey and wax. During the day, bees will be consistently moving in and out of the hive and should be easy to spot during an exterior inspection.

Once the bee’s entry points are found, contact a pest management company ASAP. You will want to get some options for service and do not want the hive to continue to grow inside your structure. Removal of the honeycomb is always wise if possible. I always recommend chemically treating at least the area after the bees are gone to prevent future activity. Bees will leave behind pheromones and another queen will rely on those pheromones as she is looking for a place to start.

Do you have a Los Angeles or Orange County, California Bee Problem?

Do you have a bee swarm or bee hive in Greater Los Angeles or Orange County, CA? The expert bee control technicians at Versa-Tech can help! Call today for your free inspection, estimate and same day bee control service.

Call (888) 429-1213

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