It’s an awe inspiring sight—a cloud of honey bees swarms into your yard and settles on a tree branch. The mass of bees may be as small as a grapefruit or as large as a basketball. After a period of time that can vary from fifteen minutes to three days, the entire swarm takes to the air.
Swarm season starts in early May. Swarming bees are usually docile and will not sting unless provoked. Leave them alone. Never spray them with a garden hose or pesticides. When threatened, the bees will release an alarm pheromone which may result in you getting stung. If you find a swarm, call a beekeeper. The Steuben County Honeybee Association has a swarm hotline: call 607-566-8558 or 607-661-7092. We will try to find a beekeeper in your area to capture the swarm and put it in a beehive.
Our next meeting will be Saturday, June 16th, 10:00 AM at Jay Hearn's apiary- 8807 County Route 7 (West Creek Rd.) Avoca, NY. Take the driveway immediately after the sign "Stowe Potato Sales".
Don Matula, our NYS apiary inspector emeritus, will do a hive inspection. New beekeepers can learn more from an hour with Don than a whole summer of working on their own.
Next month we return to meeting at Lakeview Apartments. If it's your first visit, feel free to email me for directions. Be sure to park in the visitor parking area which is the row farthest from the building. We're in the conference room- walk through the door in the center section, just to the right of the fountain, straight through the second door and turn right. All beekeepers, from beginners to veterans are welcome! Bring your questions.
One more item for your calendar. I'll be speaking about bees and beekeeping at the Dormann Library in Bath, NY on Saturday, June 30 at 12 noon. The event is sponsored by the local chapter of the Sierra Club and League of Woman Voters.
See you soon!