2018-05-10 / News

Be on lookout for honeybee swarms this spring

Mother’s Day typically marks the beginning of swarm season, which happens when a honeybee colony reproduces a new queen and forces its former leader to find a new home.

Each hive is led by a single queen, so when another one hatches, the old queen and 10,000 of her worker bees form a cluster ball and leave the hive, usually swarming to a nearby tree.

According to Godena Farm beekeeper Jim Turenne, swarming is a natural process for honeybees to expand their population. While beekeepers are expected to prevent these swarms, they are not always successful. During the 2017 season, Turenne and fellow beekeeper Dennis Breneiser captured eight swarms in Jamestown, which were then made into new hives.

This year, Turenne is expecting a busy swarm season, which typically lasts from early May to mid-summer. Homeowners who see a swarm of honeybees should call the Conanicut Island

Land Trust at 255-6206 to capture and save these valuable pollinators. These swarm chasers, however, do not deal with clusters of wasps, Turenne said.

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