Honey bees will naturally swarm from late March to September. When nectar flows increase so do the number of bees within a beehive. The bees become crowded and their natural instinct is to make swarm cells which contain new queen larvae. The queen from the hive then flys out of the hive taking about half of the bees with her and they will form a cluster of bees on either a branch or fence line. During this time scout bees are looking for a new home for the swarm. This home could be in a hollow tree trunk, branch or walls of a home that is not insulated. Bees will rarely use an attic area since it is to large for them to defend.
Swarms are not to be feared because this is a time when the bees are the most docile since they are looking for a new home and have no honey stores to protect from pest or robber bees.
Swarms can vary in size for the size of a football to the size of a mens basketball or even a warball. Swarms will stay clustered together until the scout bees find a suitable hive for the colony. This cluster may last for 45 minutes to 4 days.
What should I do if I see a swarm?
First contact a local beekeeper, they will generally come and take your swarm away. Some may charge a fee since they will have to have to have some hive equipment to put the bees into and the price of gasoline is going up.
If you don’t know a beekeeper call the local County Extension Agent for your county or local law enforcement agencies. They often know the beekeepers in your area.
If all else fails contact the Nebraska Beekeepers Association or one of its officers.