We're getting many calls for honey bee swarms in North Central Florida now, as I hope we've seen the last of the very cold weather. Rainfall has been regular and the mostly moderate temperatures have sustained a good bloom which is boosting honey bee colonies, both managed and Feral alike.
The picture to the left ( click to enlarge ), is of a swarm that has found a tree hole to move into. The tree hole was about 15 feet high off the ground. The homeowner witnessed the thousands of bees flying around the tree (which is just mere feet from the front door). You can see many bees are still flying around and some have landed on the tree and are orienting to the entrance. Swarms can be frightening, but usually are docile. Many pest control operators do not have the expertise to properly manage swarms, and in this case a pest control operator suggested that he spray the bees, which I do NOT recommend as it often aggravates the thousands of bees and makes them much more dangerous. We are experienced bee handlers and employ methods to keep the bee's alarm response in the "off position".
Here I'm inspecting the colony and am assessing the threat level, size of the colony and entry/exits. I have tools ready to contain the bees should I need to keep the colony at bay. A roadway is only feet away trom the tree, with children and cars passing by. In such tight suburban neighborhoods, it's vital that an expert be called in to minimize risk. The provider should have proper liablility insurance to protect the customer from possible mass sting incidents.
Here's a closeup of me working the colony and applying treatment. Attempting a live removal requires much more time, which often means much more cost. Most customers opt for a residual insecticide treatment, which saves money, plus reduces the reinfesation probablities. Honey bees leave a very potent 'hive aroma" that is extremely attractive to other swarms. It's not uncommon to have a reinfestation in one week's time after a hive removal. We employ methods to prevent reinfestations and offer a generous warranty.
Thanks to E.S. for shooting the pics. I enjoyed meeting you and appreciate the tips on the green appliances, organic coop and the rock! Matty had fun with it. I'll be stopping by in a week or so to check up on things and drop off some of richie's radically raw honey!!