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Local beekeepers will collect swarms of bees for free

Residents who need assistance with bee swarms should please contact the Adair County extension office, 409 Fairground Street, Columbia, KY, at 270-380-2317. If the extension office is closed then call Ted Caldwell at 606-787-4001, David Davis 270-299-6584, or Jason Jones, 270-465-6767 are local beekeepers you may contact directly. They will either collect the swarm for you or put you in contact with another local beekeeper who can.
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By Ted Caldwell

Typically April is the start of swarm season for honeybees; however, our warm winter may result in an early start to the swarm season. Swarm season can be a dangerous time for honeybees because some people may become frightened by the swarm and try to destroy it. Honeybees in a swarm are not aggressive and local beekeepers will remove swarms for free.


"When a swarm arrives people will see a cloud of bees. The bees will circle and collect into a cluster that looks like a beard," said John Benham, past president of the Kentucky Beekeepers Association.

"They will remain in the cluster until their scout bees have found a new location for them to start a new hive. This usually takes from a couple of hours to a day or two. While in the cluster, the bees are not aggressive. All they are interested in is waiting for the scout bees to find their new home. Once the scout bees find the location of their new hive, the swarm will move on."

Swarms occur when the queen leaves the original hive with approximately half of the bees to find a new home. The swarm may land on and form it's beard-like cluster on trees, bushes, fence posts, swing sets, and many other locations.

"If you find a swarm, call your local UK extension office. They have a list of local beekeepers who are willing to remove swarms for free the beekeepers will collect this warm and remove it from your property," said Benham.

Please contact Adair County extension office at 270-380-2317. If the extension office is closed then call Ted Caldwell at 606-787-4001, David Davis 270-299-6584, or Jason Jones, 270-465-6767, local beekeepers you may contact directly. They will either collect the swarm for you or put you in contact with another local beekeeper who can.

Hives that have already established themselves in a building take more specialized skills and equipment to remove. Often a licensed and insured professional removal specialist will need to be called to remove these bees. It is common for these specialists to charge for their services because of the added expense of licenses, insurance and equipment.

Honey bees play an important role in agriculture, but their populations are declining. According to the US Department of Agriculture and the Bee Informed Partnership, beekeepers across the country reported an annual hive loss of approximately 44% from April 2015 to March 2016. Allowing a local beekeeper to collect any swarms you find helps both the honeybees and local beekeepers.

Local beekeeping organizations offer opportunities for anyone interested to learn about honey bees and beekeeping. A list of local beekeeping organizations in Kentucky can be found at www.ksbabeekeeping.org/local-beekeeping-organizations.

The Kentucky state beekeepers association (KSBA) represents Kentucky's backyard, hobby and commercial beekeepers and local beekeeping associations.



This story was posted on 2017-04-09 03:54:43
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