It is the time of year that honey bees will start swarming. This time of year, we always have folks call concerned about seeing a large numbers of bees either flying or gathered together in a huge mass. There is nothing to be alarmed about, this just a honey bee swarm. Bees swarm as a natural part of a bee colony development. When a hive gets too full the old queen will take anywhere from 1500 to 30,000 worker bees and a few select drone bees and go in search of a new hive. The queen bee is protected in the center of the swarm during the swarming process.

Swarming usually typically takes place in spring or early summer as this is when bees tend to increase their population. It is an instinctive part of the honey bee lifecycle and provides a means for the colony to reproduce and grow. Beekeepers work to control swarming in managed hives as much as possible; they had rather have the bees relocate to hives in their apiary (a place where bees and beehives are kept for honey production) than in a dead tree trunk or other location. However, swarming is common in wild hives and even in managed hives swarms sometime escape the apiary.

While the site of a swarm can be alarming, any danger associated with a bee swarm is very small.

Honey bees only act defensively around their hives where they have young and food. In a swarm there are no young and there is no food to protect. Typically, the best action is no action. A swarm of honey bees will usually only stay in one location for a day or two, while the workers are out looking for a suitable hive. Just do not disturb the swarm and enjoy watching one of nature’s fascinating creatures.

Private Applicator Training and Last Chance CEU Opportunities

The Private Applicator Training will be on Friday, May 3rd from 8:00 AM until 12:00 PM at the Comanche County Community Center. This training is only for folks that need to get a private applicator license to use restricted use herbicides on their property.

You are required to purchase the training manual for $40.00, and the training will cost $15.00. There will be no CEU’s offered for this training.

For those of you that do need a few more CEU’s we will be offering an opportunity for 3 CEU’s following the private applicator training on May 3rd at 1:00 PM at the Community Center. These CEU’s will be offered through the Last Chance Video Series and will consist of 1 Law and regulation and 2 IPM’s.

There will be a $15.00 charge for this program. Please call the office if you have questions about either program.

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