Bee swarms are Natures way of ensuring the survival of the species. Bees procreate as part of their reproductive cycle as a response to the increasing warmth of Spring that producers an abundance of flowering plants. This mutual relationship between plants, bees and other pollinators enables all to thrive. This growth response often leads to overcrowding in the existing hive, whether it be natural in a tree hollow, in your Bee Hive and hopefully not in your house. While the season for swarms is mainly in Spring -(September/October/November) - it often extends into Summer (December/January)- in Victoria, according to environmental conditions such as rainfall and the availability of food whether nectar or pollen. The Summer swarms often consist of smaller Secondary swarms.
The hive produces additional Queen cells and a Queen buzzes off with the older foraging worker bees usually about 4-6 weeks old. You will often notice the swarm temporarily land and hang from a tree or settle on a post, while scout bees search nearby for a more permanent location. This process can take anywhere from a few hours to several days, and often involve several moves of short distances.
COLLECTION OF SWARMS
It is in everyone's interest to catch swarms as soon as possible to ensure they can be successfully relocated and rehoused into a managed hive, rather than taking up residence in someones home, which is much more expensive to remove. Club members are often able to assist. Members are located throughout the Peninsula and interested members willing to assist new members with swarm collection, please email the club on firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a sms on the club phone 0401 965 558. Please fill in the Swarm Collection Form on the website if you are interested.
BEES AND EUROPEAN WASPS
The public has embraced bees and have now become more environmentally conscious of saving them and also trying to eradicate the European wasp. Unfortunately these are often not identified correctly. MPBA club is fortunate to have both the Shires recognised contractors as members in our club. While swarms are often easy to remove, feral hives and wasps nests found in the walls or under the roof in buildings or in hollow trees require specialist knowledge.
For wasp eradication contact Graham from Guardian Pest Control on 03 5987 1787 and Chris for relocation of Feral Bee hives on 0421 514 742. These are some of the differences between Bees and Wasps.
BEES EUROPEAN WASPS
Smaller with varying shades of yellow to dark brown. Larger with pronounced yellow bodies with black stripes.
Single sting that hurts. Multiple painful stings.
Passive to aggressive, especially when hive disturbed. Usually aggressive, especially in March when weather warmer.
Swarms Spring and Summer, although prefers mild to warm weather. Nests Summer and Autumn and Queens survive winter.