We’re in the midst of spring and closing in on summer, which means warm weather, sunny days and the occasional buzzing of bees.
During this time of year, you may spot large whirling masses of honeybees moving through the air or swarming into large clumps on fences, trees, cars or other surfaces.
On the afternoon of May 11, I&M employees Corey Fink, Joe Higdon, Noah Lewman and Mike Dowsell spotted one such sight at our Muncie Service Center. A cloud of bees came buzzing past the front of the building around 3 p.m., and within 20 minutes, the swarm settled near a fence gate.
To help save the bees and prevent any unfortunate stings, Higdon called the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for advice and was put in contact with Dale Sheidler, a local beekeeper who could render aid.
Sheidler responded quickly, and less than 90 minutes after the bees were first spotted, he located the queen and collected the swarm. Sheidler raises bees himself and was able to provide a safe new home for the bees.
If you happen to see a swarm flying or clumping up nearby, don’t panic. Swarming is a natural part of bees’ lifecycles, and they typically find new locations within one or a few days. Simply stay back and give them space, and they will soon move on to their new homes.
If a swarm happens to be in a high traffic or dangerous location, please do not try to remove or harm the bees. There are many beekeepers located across Indiana and Michigan who are willing and able to help. An Indiana Beekeepers Swarm List is available at IN.gov, and you can call the Michigan Bee Swarm Removal hotline at 734-377-8720.