March is a special time of the year for honeybees.
It’s swarming season, the time of year when the queen decides to leave the hive with many of her daughters and some sons to go find a new home. Thousands of bees shoot out of the hive and buzz around until the scouts lead them to a temporary home, typically in a tree or bush. It’s an amazing phenomenon to see and hear.
Lucky for volunteers at LEAF’s C.R. Stone Garden, a swarm happened while they were there working AND landed on a fruit tree within the garden. Our beekeepers, Syndee and Jerry, moved the swarm from the branch into a Nuc (a small box to hold a swarm colony) where they will stay until it is moved back to the main apiary tonight.
If you ever see a swarm, enjoy the moment. Do not be alarmed; they are focused on being with their colony and not on you. Please do NOT kill the bees with pesticides. We have lots of experienced local beekeepers who can retrieve the swarms and find them new homes. Just call the Alameda County Beekeepers Association swarm line, (510) 898-6696.