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Bee Season underway: What to do if you see a swarm

We spoke with Chris Barnes, the founder of the Brazos Valley Beekeepers Association about what to do when you encounter a swarm of honeybees.

BRYAN, Texas — It is officially bee season here in Texas but don't fear because our Brazos Valley beekeepers are here.

We spoke with Chris Barnes, the founder of the Brazos Valley Beekeepers Association about what to do when you encounter a swarm of honeybees.

"Well, the first thing you don't want to do is spray them. You don't want to spray them with water, you certainly don't want to spray them with any kind of pesticide or Raid or anything like that," Barnes said. "The bees are gentle, they don't have any reason to sting you. But if you start killing them then they will have a reason to come after you. So that could be the worst thing that you do is to spray them."

Barnes is a local beekeeper in Bryan, and owner of Cornerstone Honey Bees.

He says swarm season is normally from the beginning of March to at least mid-May, and even sometimes until June depending on the temperature.

"When these are flying in them they ball up anywhere from a softball-sized group of bees up to basketball size," Barnes said. "That is not their home. They're looking for a new home. So they really don't have any defense instincts for that spot."

Around this time of the year, bee colonies can get pretty crowded so naturally, they look for a new home. Half of the colony and the queen will swarm up in different places while scouts look for a permanent location. You may see them swarming through the air, or sometimes they will gather on homes, buildings, even cars.

"They don't like open-air places and they don't like places that are too big," Barnes said. "So they will usually come back and the scouts will come back and they will all leave to go to whatever location the scouts find."

The staging period for the bees will typically result in the bees balling up for 12 to 48 hours. So it is fairly easy to wait it out if they are on your property. But if you can't wait call one of the 100 beekeepers in the Brazos valley and they will take them off your hands for free.

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