Honey bee swarms are a natural occurrence. Think of it as a colony giving birth to another colony. Typically in our tri-state area of Sioux City, IA; North Sioux City, SD; and South Sioux City, NE swarms happen in June and July. Swarms can happen in early spring and fall but typically mid summer is the primary months. When conditions are right and the hive is becoming overwhelmed with resources and bees, the colony will begin to “make” another queen. Before the new queen emerges the old queen will leave and take about half the bees in the hive with her. This is the swarm, in flight it will look like a cloud of bees but eventually the bees will land in a tree and cluster into a ball. I have also seen swarms on fences, houses, cars and on the ground. The swarm can seem intimidating and outright frightening to someone not accustomed to bees, however the swarm is usually harmless unless provoked because it has no hive or resources to protect. They are in survival mode and that’s all they care about. A swarm or cluster can remain in a tree or any surface for hours or days as scout bees search for a new home. Time is of the essence and a beekeeper should be contacted immediately. A beekeeper will collect the swarm and give them a proper home to ensure survival. As beekeepers the bees are our focus and of course your safety.