Experts: Don't fear bee swarms, call a beekeeper

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - It's a sign of the season that can sometime alarm people who aren't accustomed to the habits of honeybees. Swarms of bees appear in trees, near homes or anywhere the bees are attracted.

Bees making their new home in a hive in Knox County, after being captured traveling in their swarm.

This is common in April, May and June, according to the president of the Knox County Beekeepers Association. President Lynda Rizzardi said, "They're the easiest, gentlest bees you can be around, because they've just eaten enough honey to fill their stomachs. So, they're really just looking for a new home."

Rizzardi said you can call for a beekeeper who will typically be glad to take that swarm off your hands. The swarm includes a queen bee and several worker bees, enough to start a new beehive.

In Knox County, you can call 865-356-6033 or email
ac.mann@comcast.net to get in touch with a beekeeper near you. If you live outside the county, beekeepers can usually direct you to someone near you who can help.

Rizzardi said she had been receiving more calls this year than last about bee swarms.

This what the head of the Tennessee Beekeepers Association, Barry Richards, said about swarms:

"I don't believe there are any more swarms this year than any previous year. If people have that perception it could be a good sign that there are more beekeepers in a given area. Every honey bee colony is going to try to create at least one swarm every spring at about this time. when we have nice weekend weather often more swarms are reported because people see them while they are out and about."

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