With the heat arriving in Chilliwack, bee swarms could be more common, like the one recovered by beekeeper Hans Krul in Garrison Crossing last year. (Shaina Partridge photo)

Honeybee swarms can be collected safely in Chilliwack

There’s a community of beekeepers in Chilliwack, and a few swarm collectors too

Hot spring weather can bring out the honeybee swarms.

But there is no need to panic if you see one. There are honeybee “swarm collectors” in Chilliwack who are willing to help.

When a swarm has taken off, that is when they’re relatively docile, without a home or honey to defend.

We’re not talking about wasps or hornets or even bumblebees. But honeybees.

Luckily the Chilliwack Beekeepers community has a few volunteers willing to come collect them for free.

If you see one, the best thing to do in Chilliwack is to contact Laura Delisle, Chilliwack Beekeepers Community Coordinator.

She has only had one call so far this spring.

“With all the hot weather we’ve been having we’ve seen a lot of bee colonies swarm,” said Delisle.

”I think the big worry about swarms is over, as most hives that are going to swarm have already done so over the past three weeks with the heat waves, but that is not to say there isn’t still chances for them.”

Bees typically swarm into June.

There is actually a saying that goes:

“A swarm in May is worth a load of hay, a swarm in June is worth a silver spoon, but a swarm in July is not worth a fly.”

The community coordinator of the bee swarm collectors said she is a little surprised not to have had more calls so far in 2018.

“People are either not seeing them high up in trees, or they are finding homes in nooks and crannies, or there are beekeepers catching them! I have, however, received calls for wasps and bumbles,” Delisle said.

But they can’t help with those.

The Chilliwack Beekeeping Community has a list of dedicated ‘swarm catchers’ in the community, who are happy to come collect a honeybee swarm, free of charge. Call the group coordinator, Laura at 604-819-9278 or email: chilliwackbeekeepers@gmail.com

What is a swarm?

A phenomenon when a large percentage of the population a honeybee hive (thousands upon thousands of bees), make the decision to ‘take off’ and find another home. This may happen for a number of reason: overcrowding in the hive, humidity and temperature issues, etc. While swarm management is a crucial aspect of beekeeping to prevent the loss of bees, swarming is inherent in their nature and so swarms can happen even with the best prevention.

After bees decide to leave the hive, they cluster centered around the queen, until they make up their minds where the next home will be. In this stage, you will find a large clump of bees hanging from a tree or other structure – in which they will stay anywhere from an hour to a week, depending on environmental factors, their ability to find a home, and more.

What should I do if I see a swarm?

Don’t panic. Honeybees in a swarm are at their gentlest – with no home or honey reserve to defend, they are relatively calm and docile.

Contact your local beekeepers. Beekeepers are happy to come and collect the swarm as a free service. They have the equipment and knowledge needed to take care of the swarm.

But do call someone as soon as you spot a swarm. You never know when the bees will decide to change locations – and maybe the next location won’t be as easy to capture (e.g. they might move to a higher elevation (roof tops, tree tops), or inside a building attic/wall, etc.)


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey seniors call Seniors’ Centre Without Walls, a new-to-B.C. program

‘Crazy coincidence’ saw program connect soon after COVID-19 pandemic hit

Surrey pushing the poor out of Whalley, public hearing speakers say

‘There is a war on the poor here in Surrey,’ resident Dave Diewert tells city council

IHIT investigating death of Surrey woman

Injured woman was taken to SMH early Tuesday morning

Charges laid in 2019 single-vehicle crash in Surrey that killed young soccer star

Dilpreet Sandhu, 19, faces eight charges in early morning crash that killed Brandon Bassi

Surrey Mounties seize guns, drugs and cash from Guildford residence

One man was arrested but no charges have been laid as investigation continues

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

COVID claims 23rd Langley Lodge patient, making it the deadliest outbreak in B.C.

Coronavirus kills another senior at Langley care home, bringing B.C. total to 166

Family of dead B.C. football star urge changes to mental health policies in hospitals

Uko family disappointed in actions of Regina hospital, hosting public funeral service this weekend

Help the ‘Cloverdale Reporter’ continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

Maple Ridge woman fights WorkSafe BC over police widow’s pension

Dalila Vroom says husband, Const. Rob Vroom, died as a result of PTSD from time with Abbotsford PD

Most Read