This is the time of year when Vermont homeowners are likely to find swarms of bees in trees, or even within the walls of houses or barns. While frightening to those unfamiliar with it, it is a natural part of a bee's reproductive cycle. Swarming is the process by which a new honey bee colony is formed when the queen bee leaves the colony with a large group of worker bees - usually to alleviate over-crowding in a hive. When that happens: Call a beekeeper to remove a swarm of bees, not an exterminator.
What should you do if you encounter a swarm of bees? First, don't panic. When bees swarm they aren't interested in you. They are generally quite docile while they look for their new home and may leave of their own accord within a few hours or days. Don't spray them with pesticides or attempt to remove them yourself.
The Vermont Beekeepers Association (VBA) wants to help you remove them and safely relocate them to an apiary. The VBA maintains a list of members throughout the state who are more than willing to perform this service. Simply visit the VBA website's Swarm Page to learn more about swarms and to contact a beekeeper who can answer any questions you may have.