While every gardener loves honey bees for their pollination and the honey they make, they can sometimes be a serious pest. We all know that they search for flowers containing nectar and pollen for food, which they store in the hive and wait for dehydration to occur in order for the formation of honey. However, there are times in the summer and fall when flowers are not abundant and the bees will seek out syrups, sugars, and other sweet substances because nectar is not easy to access. A few initial bees discovering a readily available sugar source around an aluminum can recycling container or trash receptacle can recruit a larger number in a short period of time.
Under certain conditions, a strong established honey bee colony will sub‑divide and one or more swarms will leave the hive in search of a new home. A swarm may cluster near your home while the scout bees seek out a permanent location to inhabit.
Honey bees are perceived as aggressive, but swarming bees usually are not aggressive and are not likely to sting unless disturbed. Bee swarms usually find a home within a day or so and the cluster will leave your yard or home on their own. Swarms of this type are often sought by beekeepers.
If you find an outdoor swarm or a nest in a wall or attic, please contact your local Cooperative Extension Service before calling an exterminator. A local beekeeper may be readily available to help with the safe removal of the honey bees.