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Swarming bees: What it means

Spring is a time for insects to come out of hiding and that includes bees.

After winter, the queens begin building up their colonies, laying hundreds or thousands of eggs once nectar and pollen start coming in.

“Before you know it, she has no room in the hive,” said Adam French, CFO of Cox’s Honey. “And so what she does, is she kind of shrinks down a little bit and she decides she wants to takes off. She makes sure there’s a succeeding queen, or at least sells for a succeeding queen for the ones that are left behind. But then she will take most of the mature bees and herself and they will take off in a swarm.”

Thousands of bees form the swarm and leave the hive, looking for a bigger location to call home.

“A lot of times they’ll go look for a tree, a branch, a post, whatever it might be, because she is just trying to find a place she can build a bigger hive,” French said.

Bees are an endangered species. Ways to help them include planting flowers and not using pesticides. French says the population in Idaho is maintaining good numbers.

“It’s because we have a good pollen source which is really good,” French said. “And we also have a good nectar flow in this area.”

Beekeepers say if you find a swarm to give them a call and they will come get the bees.

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