What to do if you run into a swarm of bees

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – The bee season is here and it will last at least a month. New Mexico beekeepers say at this point the bees are looking for a new place to live.

Seeing a handful of bees alone can be alarming at times, but a swarm is a different story. A swarm looks like a large bee ball or a cluster of bees, and if that big bee ball is into something, your best bet is to give a beekeeper a call.

Swarm of bees rescued by Las Cruces firefighter

“When you see a swarm in a tree, it’s a really good time to say, ‘Hey bees get into that beehive box, don’t go into someone’s walls or whatever,'” said Amy Owen, owner of Desert Hives. The bees then end up in the hands of someone like Owen, a beekeeper in the East Mountains.

“We have our crush list here in the Albuquerque area,” Owen said. This list shows dozens of beekeepers ready to move swarms safely no matter where they are.

A unique parade took place in Las Cruces in March. A swarm of nearly 15,000 bees broke into a car while the owner was shopping at a grocery store. An off duty firefighter who is also a beekeeper cleared them out without harming them.

“The healthiest beehives are the ones that will swarm out,” said Owen. When swarms are killed, we have a direct impact on the future of honeybees in our region.

“There are fewer and fewer bees in this area to pollinate crops or gardens and the like,” said Owen. Once the professionals have them, the bees can go about their business without getting in anyone’s way.

These moves are free, but if you wait and the crush finds a home within your walls it will cost you.

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