Oklahoma Beekeepers Explain What To Do If You See A Bee Swarm

Monday, April 19th 2021, 9:49 pm
By: Grant Stephens

MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma -

Oklahoma beekeepers are abuzz about bee swarm season and you might spot huge bundles of bees clumping onto tree branches. Beekeepers say, if you do see a swarm, there's no need to panic.

Muskogee beekeeper Chris James said despite their size, these clumps are mostly harmless.

"They look intimidating because there may be 10,000 bees right there," James said. "But usually, bees are pretty calm when they're actually swarming because they don't have a home, they don't have babies to protect."

The swarms form when a hive gets too crowded, so the queen and half the bees ditch their old hive and search for a new one. Sometimes they land in a clump where they might not be welcome.

James said Oklahoma is in the height of bee swarm season but the worst thing you can do is spray and needlessly kill them.

"Oh that'd be horrible," James said. "You know one out of every third bite of food that we eat is the result of a pollinator such as a honeybee. So we do what we can to try to keep the honeybee population alive."

James said the best thing you can do is buzz off, because the bees will likely move on to a better spot with more protection.

James said he and other beekeepers are typically happy to help collect them and give them a new home.

He recommends searching for local beekeepers on Facebook and Google and giving them a call if you find a swarm.