Treasure Valley's "Bee Man" Says Don't Fear Summer Swarms

May 30, 2017

As the weather turns toward summer, bee colonies in Idaho are starting to expand. Every year, old colonies split away from the hive and go looking for a new home. It’s called Honey Bee Swarming and it happens from March through August.

Mark Davis says this year’s swarming is getting a late start, because of all the wet weather. Known as Treasure Valley’s “Bee Man,” Davis is the founder of the nonprofit, family-based Treasure Valley Bee Rescue, a group that will relocate swarms rather than exterminating them.

He says he spends his summers rescuing bee swarms and relocating them away from people.

A bee swarm. As they swarm, a queen bee will land on a tree, even on a car, to rest and the other bees surround her for protection. Eventually they move on to a new home.
Credit Mark Davis

Davis spends a lot of his time educating the public about what NOT to do when they spot a bee swarm. He says swarms are usually just resting and will eventually move on, if left alone.

“They won’t bother you, in fact I’ve had thousands upon thousands of bees on me at one time – no stings. They’re not interested in stinging you, all they’re doing is trying to find a new home,” says Davis.

Davis says never spray a bee swarm with water or chemicals, that's just asking for trouble. Instead, he recommends giving him a call, or another bee rescuer, to relocate them to a safe place.

Support for environmental reporting on Boise State Public Radio comes in part from the Larry & Pam Cardinale Preservation Fund.

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