Bee swarm spotted in NW Portland neighborhood

More bee swarms expected as warm weather continues

A swarm of bees was spotted in a NW Portland neighborhood Sunday. May 3, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)
A swarm of bees was spotted in a neighborhood Sunday. May 3, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — A cluster of honey bees got a Northwest Portland neighborhood buzzing Sunday morning, and bee experts told KOIN 6 News it’s a sight people should expect to see more frequently as the warm weather continues.

“It has been extremely busy the past month,” Bill Ruhl of Bee Control Northwest said. “Lots and lots of swarms.”

Bees are important to pollination, and many people don’t want to see their hives destroyed. However, if they are clustering in an area near your home, bee experts say calling them for help is your best bet.

Ruhl said it’s like a huge family stuck in a small house — when things get too crowded, the experienced queen bee packs up one-third of the colony and searches for a new home. She leaves behind the old hive to new queens that will hatch and take over.

“They are looking for the best place to move into,” Ruhl said.

On Sunday, a queen and her colony were spotted looking for a new hive in a Northwest Portland neighborhood. Ruhl said when you see a cluster out and about, they are waiting for scout bees tasked with looking for a new home. Those bees will check out five to six places at a time and report back.

But problems arise when those scout bees recommend the colony set up shop in someone’s home.

“Honey bees love the top of brick chimneys,” Ruhl said.

Ruhl said in cases when bees are on your property, it’s best to call a professional who can give them a hive where they will be welcome. He said if bees choose to live in the walls of a home, they will likely have to be exterminated.

You can stop bees from getting into your home by doing a survey of your property and putting caulk in cracks to seal them up.

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