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Plea from Cornell: Leave the Bees Be!
New York Ag Connection - 06/14/2019

See a swarm of bees, and your instinct may be to reach for the bug spray. Why, and where you can call for help and save them, instead...


It's the time of year when bees swarm, and the reaction of most people is to get scared and pull out bug spray. Not so fast, says Cornell University's pollinator network, which also offers alternatives.

Emma Mullen, Cornell's Senior Honey Bee Extension Associate, advises that if you see a swarm, report it so that a swarm catching beekeeper can come and take them to a place where they'll have a better chance to survive. Cornell has published as county by county list of bee keepers who'll come to help (most will offer the service for free) Swarm-catching beekeepers in New York state can be found here:

Why do bees swarm? It's a way for the bees to expand their numbers: Mullen says a queen will leave the hive with daughters, and they swarm on a branch or other structure while they decide where their new home will be. If you see a swarm, you should report it as soon as possible, so the insects can be moved to safety.

Most swarms occur between mid-May and mid-July in New York, though they can happen as late as September. It's believe that over the past ten years, New York has lost between 42 and 68 percent of its bee colonies each year.

Though swarms may look scary, they offer hope for the bee's future, which is vital to our food production. Think twice before you reach for the bug spray....

For more information, watch the video at

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