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Swarming bees are nothing to fear

Each spring, healthy colonies of honeybees swarm – their natural way to procreate. While it’s vital for the colonies to swarm, the mere thought of thousands of bees in close proximity causes home and business owners to become fearful, especially if children are nearby.

But please, don’t kill the bees. That’s the word from Vince Wallace, a Tuscaloosa County beekeeper and president of the West Alabama Beekeepers Association.

When they swarm, the honeybees are simply in transition between residences, because the original colony has grown to capacity and needs room to expand. Wallace says that a swarm of bees is actually very docile, because they are gorged with honey and simply in a transitional phase while scout bees search for a new residence.

Honeybees are vital to our food supply, because they pollinate the plants that humans and animal species rely on for survival.

“There are numerous beekeepers that would gladly come and retrieve bees” from anxious property owners, Wallace says. He asks that instead of turning to insecticide, first contact a professional beekeeper. There’s a swarm removal list, sorted by geographical location, at alabamabeekeepers.com