West Seattle gets swarmed! If it happens to you, don’t panic – here’s what to do

April 22, 2014 at 2:36 pm | In West Seattle news, Wildlife | 11 Comments

A wild sight outside West Seattle’s PCC Natural Markets (WSB sponsor) store on Monday – a honeybee swarm! (Thanks to K for the photo.) This reminds us that it’s the season for a reminder – If you spot a bee swarm, don’t panic about them, don’t poison them, don’t even spray them with water – check out this info from the Washington State Beekeepers’ Association, and then this page from the Puget Sound Beekeepers’ Association, which includes a link to this year’s list of beekeepers you can call to remove the swarm (which is what we’re told PCC did – called a beekeeper).

P.S. While checking those pages, we discovered that the Puget Sound Beekeepers Association’s monthly meeting is tonight (not in WS, but in case you’re a beekeeper and not already involved with them, thought we’d mention it given the timing).

P.P.S. Learn more about bees – and celebrate their vital role in our ecosystem – at the second annual West Seattle Bee Festival on May 4th; info here.

11 Comments

  1. I saw them yesterday while driving down California by PCC. I got a little worried when I realized I had all my windows down enjoying the spring day. Thanks for the info

    Comment by Wilma — 4:52 pm April 22, 2014 #

  2. Don’t worry – you should bee happy to see them!

    Comment by MMB — 5:45 pm April 22, 2014 #

  3. Two years ago we had a bee hive on the side of our house. My husband went out with my sons football helment on his head and oven mitts on his hands. He took a broom and started hitting the hive ( even thou all three of us were yelling STOP )!!!!!! Needless so say he’s an idiot and the bees attacked him.

    Comment by Westie — 6:44 pm April 22, 2014 #

  4. I looked in the Forums about “Who ya gonna call” concerning swarm bees. No luck, Anyone have some good numbers for WS?

    Comment by patt — 6:50 pm April 22, 2014 #

  5. Fantastic! Thanks for the warning.

    Comment by Skittles for Marshawn — 6:58 pm April 22, 2014 #

  6. Patt – our links above include the one leading to a list that has numbers for “Seattle South,” which would include West Seattle. http://www.pugetsoundbees.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/2014SwarmlistAlpha.pdf

    Comment by WSB — 6:58 pm April 22, 2014 #

  7. … also, that list makes it clear that past recommendations are NOT to be relied on since the respond-to-swarms list changes every year.

    Comment by WSB — 6:59 pm April 22, 2014 #

  8. Westie, I just laughed so hard. That’s a great story.
    .
    Glad WSB posted this. There’s a major issue globally with bees right now, which is resulting in very big problems with crop yields. The more pollinating bees we have, the better. There are specific bees that are needed to pollinate important crops, but overall the die off is alarming. http://www.ars.usda.gov/News/docs.htm?docid=15572

    Comment by Mike — 8:53 pm April 22, 2014 #

  9. Mike, we (heart) bees. And we all NEED to (heart) bees. When I was a kid a millennium or so ago, they were little more than objects of fear … but by the time I became a parent, their plight (and potentially ours as a result) was clear enough that I tried to teach my kid (non-allergic, so far as I know) not to be afraid of them, for starters. P.S. The Bee Festival, mentioned at the end, will be BIG fun, and organizers took great pains to set a date that didn’t conflict with other upcoming events, so here’s hoping for a bee-you-tiful turnout on May 4th … TR

    Comment by WSB — 9:03 pm April 22, 2014 #

  10. Helpful tip- bees that are swarming away from a hive are looking for a new home and will not seek you out to sting you unless you go after them, they are not protecting anything….. Conversely if you get aggressive they will get aggressive back for preservation. Hive bees are more alert and on edge that those swarming away from hives. Bee-careful and respect the wildlife :)

    Comment by Be-informed — 9:16 pm April 22, 2014 #

  11. Ha!! I texted WSB about this when I was picking up my kid from wrestling practice at West Seattle High. There was a parked car right by the PCC that had what looked like several thousand bees on it. I’ve never seen anything like it. It freaked me out a bit. It was surreal and just a little bit beautiful. :-)

    Comment by Ronnie — 4:00 pm April 23, 2014 #

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