FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- They're a vital part of our ecosystem, but to some people bees are a nuisance. After a short spring, it's swarm season, and if you see a swarm, you should know what to do to protect yourself and the bees.
"We were living in southwest Allen County and I was mowing and noticed the bees in the trees, and it was a large swarm of honey bees, so I called the Department of Natural Resources," said Scott Sims.
A beekeeper with Southwest Honey Company, Megan Ryan, gave FOX 55 the buzz on bees, and said people like Sims are doing the right thing.
"When honey bee swarms swarm, especially within the city, a lot of times they don't have a lot of options in terms of finding their new home. They will find themselves in inconvenient places like mailboxes, or on the side of someone's house, or in a tree in someone's back yard," she said.
Ryan said many people will call an exterminator to kill the bees, but calling Southwest Honey Company will save trouble and the bees.
"Most of the exterminator companies around Fort Wayne, if they arrive on the scene where there is a honey bee swarm, they will not exterminate, they will let that person know that they need to call a bee keeper," she said.
Ryan said when bees are in swarms, they're usually very docile creatures. Typically, if someone is stung by a swarm of insects, they're in the wasp or hornet family.
What else can you do to help these misunderstood insects? Planting native flowers, doing away with fertilizer, and keeping flowers like dandelions around are small steps you can take. If the bees do become a problem, don't try to handle it on your own.
"Our goal is to take those swarms, relocate them to a place that's more natural, so that in the natural cycle of the honey bees' life when the hive does swarm again, they have a natural option for where to go," Ryan said.
If you need to contact the Southwest Honey Co. to remove a swarm, or if you want to learn more about the honey bee, click here.