Situation Causes A “Buzz” On Tompkins St.

A local Fond du Lac residence recently discovered a situation that caused a real buzz in the neighborhood. 

A homeowner on Tompkins Street in Fond du Lac noticed an unusually large amount of honey bees flying in their backyard Saturday afternoon, July 9, 2022. 

Upon closer inspection, they found a cluster of several hundred bees clumped on a tree branch, about 25 feet up in the tree. 
Not knowing what to do, they took to the internet to see if any local beekeepers could help them out by coming to collect the bees.

What they found out was this is completely normal and part of the process the bees go through in finding a new place to establish a hive.

According to an article on the Iowa State University website, “Swarming is a natural process in the life of a honey bee colony.   Swarming occurs when a large group of honey bees leaves an established colony and flies off to establish a new colony, essentially creating two from one.  Swarming is a natural method of propagation that occurs in response to crowding within the colony and usually occurs in late spring and early summer and begins in the warmer hours of the day.”

The website goes on to say “Honey bee swarms may contain several hundred to several thousand worker bees, a few drones and one queen. Swarming bees fly around briefly and then cluster on a tree limb, shrub or other object. Clusters usually remain stationary for an hour to a few days, depending on weather and the time needed to find a new nest site by scouting bees. When a suitable location for the new colony, such as a hollow tree, is found the cluster breaks up and flies to it.”

As long as the bees are not bothered, the swarm is relatively safe to look at from a safe distance. Give them their space and with a little time, they will move on.