Swarm Reporting

Reporting a Swarm

If you see a bee swarm, contact either Matthew Yearout (DCBA President) or Donna Devanney (DCBA Founder).

Swarms are often mistakenly reported when none is present. Our swarm extractors move quickly to retrieve honey bee swarms, and it is important that they not waste their time. Honey bees don’t wait around for us, and we miss an opportunity to catch a real swarm while chasing misreported swarms. For retrievable swarms, a DCBA member will come and extract the swarm ASAP. When you call/email, the following information will be very helpful:

  • Have you found a stationary cluster of thousands of bees?
  • Are they reachable?
  • Will a ladder be needed? How tall?
  • Are they on a tree limb or pole that can be cut or shaken, or are they on/inside something immovable and require a bee vacuum?

Identifying a Honey Bee

Flying insects can be difficult to identify if they refuse to stop buzzing around our heads. The key attributes to look for when discerning a bee from a wasp is fuzzy vs shiny.

  • Honey bees are fuzzy, as all cute animals should be.
  • Wasps are bald and shiny. Also they are skinny, and have a more pronounced “wasp waist”.

A google image search provides comparisons of honey bees and wasps, aka yellow jackets.

Identifying a Honey Bee Swarm

The word “swarm” if often used to describe just any large population of insects on the move, but its meaning is much more specific when speaking of Honey Bees. A swarm is not merely a lot of bees flying around, though you may see many bees flying around the swarm. The swarm is actually a relatively calm cluster of bees perched on some surface. A bee ball, as it were.

A google image search provides many examples of true swarms.

If you haven’t found such a ball of bees, then no one can extract them. They need to be in this dense, landed state for anyone to be able to gather them and take them away.

March Meeting

The Tuesday, March 15th DCBA meeting will be held at the Durham Cooperative Extension, located at 721 Foster Street @ 6:30pm (new, temporary location is across the street from Cocoa Cinnamon. There is usually parking on the north side of the building.)

Our speaker is the DCBA member, Jack Bishop and he will be discussing queen genetics, including his successes and challenges.. Please come join us and bring your Beekeeping questions for discussion with those present.  All are welcome!

Please see Matthew’s email to the Google group for upcoming DCBA events:
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/durham-county-beekeepers/Byru4L1yj5A

 

Brushy Mountain Webinar (Free)

Webinar on the use of oxalic acid from Brushy Mountain Bee Farm. Registration is required, but it is free.

March 17th, 2015 at 6:00 PM EDT

Beekeepers are assessing their mite levels as their hives come out of winter. One treatment to suppress the Varroa mite is Oxalic Acid. With its high efficacy and low risk of contamination, many beekeepers are looking to use it this year. We have brought in an expert panelist, Marion Ellis Ph.D, to better explain the use of Oxalic Acid. As an entomologist, his research into the effects of varroa and other parasites on honey bee colonies have given beekeepers insight into better hive management.

Register here for free. After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining our webinar.


February Meeting

The Tuesday, February 16th DCBA meeting will be held at the Durham Cooperative Extension, located at 721 Foster Street @ 6:30pm (new, temporary location is across the street from Cocoa Cinnamon. There is usually parking on the north side of the building.)

Our speaker is the DCBA president, Matthew Yearout and he will talk about Swarms and Splits. Please come join us and bring your Beekeeping questions for discussion with those present.  All are welcome!