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Is it a bee swarm?.. or a nesting colony ( bee hive )?

Richard Martyniak, M.Sc. Entomologist 1

I recently fielded a call from a homeowner who noticed a bee swarm on the soffit of her house. She first noticed the swarm last Saturday. I made a swarm removal service call the following Monday.

Orlando Bee Swarm on house long shotHere you can see a picture(click to enlarge) of the swarm. I took this picture Monday afternoon. I always advise customers to observe swarm activity from a safe distance, and to not approach swarms. Swarms are usually docile, but if comb building is occuring, the swarm can become defensive.


If possible, I will attempt to remove the swarm and install the bees into a hive box.(More on that later). Because much of Florida's feral (wild) bee population contains African ( aka "killer bees" as portrayed in the media )genetics, It's extremely important to practice proper methods to prevent the spread of African bees. It's impossible for anyone, entomologist, beekeeper or homeowner, to visually determine if a bee swarm is African, Africanized or European.

Orlando bee swarm close The homeowner observed bees moving into small openings in her soffit. I was concerned that the bees started to build comb and possibly had entered the soffit. It became apparent after starting the removal that both conditions were true.

Bee swarm in orlando with soffit removed

Comb was found on the exterior of the soffit AND on the interior void of the soffit. A sizeable portion of the swarm had moved into the soffit. In situations like this, removal of all comb and bees is necessary. A residual pesticide application is applied to control subsequent bee swarms. Once bees start building comb in a location, it becomes extremely attractive to other swarms. It's not uncommon to experience another infestation within a week's time. This is another reason to choose a competent firm that has both beekeeping experience AND is a licensed pest control operator, for in the state of Florida beekeepers are not licensed to apply pesticides. And with it's like having your very own Graduate Entomologist (Insect Scientist) and Orlando Beekeeper on staff!. Can't beat that!! Call us today - Toll Free 1-855-930-BEES (2337)
Bee swarm in orlando with soffit removed

The swarm was removed from the customer's house and taken back to our apiary. Here I offer a small hive box for the bees to take up residence in. They were completely moved in within one hour's time.

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