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It’s bee swarm season

It’s bee swarm season
Photo by Joseph CutlerA swarm of bees looking for a new home. If you see a swarm, let them be and contact

By Joseph Cutler

It’s springtime — and honeybee swarming season, which runs from the end of March through the end of May. Swarming is a natural occurrence each year, when a hive divides into halves and one half goes out to find a new home. This is a natural way that honeybees propagate.

Honeybee swarms look like a good-sized clump of bees hanging on a tree limb, a car window, the side of a house. They are looking for a place to live, which is not easy anymore, as their normal homes of hollow trees are being taken over by agriculture and development.

Bees now have only a 20% chance of finding a new place to live within the three days that nature gives them to find a home or die of starvation.

If you see a swarm of bees, do not try to catch it, kill it, or disperse it with a garden hose. If you call a pest control company they will probably kill the bees.

Instead, we can help this threatened pollinator by reporting the swarm quickly to the Sonoma County Beekeepers Association at, using the “Report a swarm” tab. This will alert local volunteer beekeepers who will quickly come out to catch the swarm and give it a home, for no charge.

Thank you for helping protect our much-needed pollinators!