Swarming time for bees in the Valley - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Swarming time for bees in the Valley

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Beekeeper Bob Chmelik of Austintown says he has received 65 calls this spring for removal of bee swarms.  

Chmelik, also known as Bob the Bee Man, says bee swarms are just the normal process by which a new honey bee colony is formed.  

It happens when hives become crowded and new queen cells are about to hatch.

"When those queen cells are ready to hatch that old queen will take off and she'll take half of the bees with her," said Chmelik.  

The swarm is just a rest stop while scout bees are out looking for a new home. Chmelik says don't agitate or try to kill the bees, just keep pets and children at a safe distance and call in a beekeeper.

"We'll come and get them. There's no charge to go pick up a swarm, it's free, and we get rid of the problem," Chmelik said.

Chmelik uses a swarm box baited with honey to attract the queen, and the rest is easy.

"They'll just walk right in. I don't have to do anything. I just open the door and they walk in because they're really looking for a home. and that's what we try to give them," Chmelik said.

Five years ago there was serious concern about a declining bee population, but Chmelik says that has changed. Last year he received 114 calls about swarms and he's had 65 already this season.

"From five years ago when we had that colony collapse disorder, I think the bees are recovering tremendously since then," according to Chmelik.

The swarming time for bees is usually over by the end of June.

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