Bee Swarms in Montana - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Bee Swarms in Montana

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HELENA - Montana is home to over 176,000 bee colonies...and they all start in a swarm.

Department of Agriculture entomologist, Cam Lay said, "The colony will raise a queen and then once she's..the old queen will pack up with about half of the work force, and she'll fly off to find a new location. And that's when we see them...they'll hang there in a tree or a bush."

Although bee swarms look intimidating, that actually isn't the case.

"In a swarm they're about as safe s bees get. Bees sting for really only one reason--that is to protect their home, their larva, their young to protect their source, the stuff the have," said Lay. "In a swarm they don't have any of that, they're just traveling. There really isn't a reason for them to sting--they usually don't."

But fear not they don't hang around for too long.

"You see swarms typically early in the year, mid to late spring. After that they pretty much settle down and try to build up enough honey storage so they can get through the winter," Lay said.

So if you do come across a bee swarm, the department of agriculture has a list of local bee keepers on their website that are happy to collect some free bees.
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