We were recently called out to a child care centre in Caboolture to investigate a large swarm of bees in the childrens play area. This many bees in an area where children are meant to play can be a recipe for disaster, so we had to act quickly.
Why are the bees swarming now?
Swarming of bees usually occurs between September and December every year, and is a natural part of the reproductive life cycle of honey bees. With the warmer weather and the abundance of food sources, bee colonies tend to increase in population until overcrowding begins to occur.
To combat this, the old queen then leaves the hive with about half of the bees. They will then cluster on a nearby object, while a worker bee or scout will search for a new, permanent nesting site. Once found, the swarm will move to the new site and establish a new colony.
In the original colony, a new queen will emerge and continue to maintain the parent colony. The bees throughout this swarming process in either camp can become defensive if provoked, so they should be left alone while you call in the profesionals.
Did we just kill all of the bees?
A large swarm of irritable and homeless bees in a day care centre, around playful small children, is a problem that needs a quick resolution. As it can take time for the scout bee to find a new nesting site, the swarm will generally just stay put until it’s found. The colony would the eventually relocate, but in the meantime keeping the children locked up inside the centre was far from ideal.
After assessing the situation and outlining all of the possible treatment options with the centre, a safe and non-lethal solution was decided upon – we engaged the services of a beekeeper.
The beekeeper was able to remove the queen and all of her worker bees, and relocate them to a safe new location where they established their new colony, without destroying any of the bees.
While this strategy is not always possible, this was one situation where it was definitely the best outcome for everyone.
The environmentally friendly option
Honey bees are a vital part of the natural ecosystem, where they perform a vital function in cross pollination. Keeping them alive and safely away from the children is far better for the environment than simply destroying them.
If we had simply let the bees find their own location, it is likely that it would have been inside the brickwork of the childcare centre itself. If they built their nest inside the walls of the centre, they would have continued to pose a threat to the children, and we would have probalbly needed to destroy them, as relocation would likely not have been possible.
Finding the best option for successfully managing pest issues is what we do. Simply spraying or baiting is not always the best option. Where we can provide a better alternative, we always will!
If you have a bee problem, or any other pest issue, contact us at Amalgamated Pest Control Caboolture, and we can take care of it for you.
Call us on 1300 845 325 today!