Flying Insects 101: Why Bees Swarm – Summer = bees. It’s a fact of life. Ever wonder how many bees are in the typical hive? According to Grow Organic, one hive can contain between 10,000 and 60,000 honey bees depending on the location and time of year. Each hive is comprised of one female queen bee, several female worker bees and just a few male drones. But not all bees live in hives like honey bees do, with about 70 percent of all the 20,000 species of bees preferring to nest underground, according to Cornell CALs Department of Entomology. In North America, those ground bees become active in early spring. You’ve probably seen them by now.

Ever wonder why they come out of their nests and swarm? It seems sudden, and you may think the bees are upset, ill or confused. But really they have absconded from their nest, which is common when bees outgrow the hive or detect a threat to the safety of their home. Contrary to popular belief, bees don’t just randomly attack people. They will keep to themselves unless disturbed or threatened. So, if you see a swarm outside, leave them be and they will be gone within an hour looking for a new place to live.

Why Bees Swarm and Sting

Honey bees do sting but normally don’t do so unless provoked. They do it to protect not only themselves but their nest. Their ultimate goal is to protect their queen. When you see a swarm or you get stung by one of them, it’s usually because you were perceived as a threat, whether intentional or not. The queen is in the middle of the swarm cluster, after all, and the sole job of the worker bees is to keep her alive. That’s because she’s essential to mating and growing a hive. Without her, they could die.

When you spot a few bees flying in and out of the swarm, most likely they are scout bees. They’re sent out to scout for new homes and report back. They are the only ones that will move in and out of the swarm. Until they tell everyone else in the colony about a perfect new home, they will all, queen included, stay put.

Your Home: Bees’ New Living Quarters

You may not be too concerned about bee hives outside your home, as long as they are located away from your home and your kids’ play area. But you probably become more alarmed when they set up shop in your home. Bees don’t normally build nests in homes due to the high level of activity going on. They prefer peace and quiet, but sometimes they do build hives in residential structures. Maybe you’re just really quiet or perhaps you’ve been away on vacation for a while.

Whatever the case, it’s important to get rid of the nest for the safety of your family. They are often located in the walls or eaves of your house. A professional exterminator will be able to determine for sure where they are coming from and how to get rid of them.

Contact Cavanaugh’s Professional Termite and Pest Services

Never attempt to destroy the nest on your own. You could spur on a mass attack which can threaten your safety and even life, as multiple bee stings can be fatal. Instead, call Cavanaugh’s Professional Termite and Pest Services at one of our three convenient locations in Flanders, Somerville or Freehold. We have the expertise and tools necessary to get rid of dangerous bee infestations.