CATCH THE BUZZ – Honey Bee Swarm Season

Bee Swarms: Local Beekeepers Prepare for Season
Christine Menges –

Paul Vincent and daughter in the process of capturing the first swarm of bees Vincent ever caught.
Photo / Courtesy of Paul Vincent

Spring brings budding in the trees, and with them, bees.

Lots of bees. Sometimes swarms of them.

Columbia County residents who have found swarms of bees on their property have a group of people they can call for help: the members of the Columbia County Beekeepers.

The beekeepers have their individual phone numbers listed on their Facebook page for easy access.

The 10 active club members have been working together for approximately three years. They meet once a month at the Oregon State University Extension Office in St. Helens. They got their 501c3 status in January of this year, meaning they are officially recognized as a nonprofit club.

Encountering a bee swarm
Paul Vincent and daughter in the process of capturing the first swarm of bees Vincent ever caught.

Columbia County Beekeepers president Paul Vincent has tips for anyone who encounters a swarm in their yard. The first thing to keep in mind is that they aren’t going to hurt you, he said.

“A bee swarm has nothing to protect and they’re not going to hurt anybody,” Vincent said. “They’re looking for a home. If there’s hundreds of bees flying around your yard, they’re not going to hurt you. You could walk up to them and they won’t pay any attention to you.”

Many people who see swarms in their yard might want to call an exterminator to get rid of them. That’s not necessarily the best idea, Vincent said, especially because bees are dying out because of colony collapse disorder.

That exterminator would likely spray poison into the area where the bees reside, resulting in a bunch of dead bees in the person’s home, as well as the larva that the bees have laid, Vincent said. The dead carcasses are prime attraction for mice and other insects seeking food.

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The Bee Culture Team