Swarming

If you think you have a swarm of bees at home,
please write to us at info@mielmontreal.com
and attach photos of the swarm and / or insects.

What is Swarming

Swarming is the natural method of reproduction and division of bee colonies. In spring or early summer, when conditions are favorable and that the hive is well developed swarming is likely to occur. The colony then raises a new queen in a queen cell. Shortly before hatching, the old queen leaves the hive with about half the colony, forming a swarm.

The bee

The bee is recognizable by its yellowish, brownish and black colours. Its thorax and abdomen are covered with small hairs, which gives it a fluffy appearance. At least 20,000 species of bees are listed on the planet, including 350 in Quebec. The best known species is the honeybee (Apis Mellifera). It finds its food resources in flowers, which limits contacts between humans and bees. A foraging bee is buy definition inoffensive; bees sting only to defend their colony or if they are in danger. Except in cases of intolerance, a single injection is harmless to humans. One in 15,000 people is allergic to bee stings.

The wasp

Bees must not be confused with the wasps. Wasp are a serin yellow and the lack of hair gives them a more glossy appearance. As opposed to the honeybee, the behaviour of wasps promotes greater contact between the insects and humans (presence in garbage cans, around our food, etc.).

How to recognize a bee swarm

A swarm of bees is a cluster of bees of variable size located near a hive or a wild colony. The swarming must not be confused with a cooling phenomenon of the hive: when it is really hot, part of the colony leaves the hive and forms a bunch in front of the entrance. These bees leave their hive only momentarily, in order to diminish its temperature. They say they make a beard. Beware, however, because a bearding colony is often a colony lacking space. We must therefore act promptly to prevent the colony from leaving.

Generally, in Montréal, swarming occurs in the months of May, June or July. Bees are particularly calm when swarming; the risk of sting is relatively low.

Crédit Photo : Manoushka Larouche, Samuel Cogrenne, Alexandre Gillez.