If you just discovered that one of your property's trees has a swarm of bees hanging in it, then your first inclination might be to want to kill the stinging pests. However, by better understanding the deadly honey bee disease known as colony collapse disorder (CCD), you will realize why killing the bees would be a tragic mistake.
Here is some information about colony collapse disorder, followed by why bees swarm and the solution to getting rid of your unwanted bees:
Honey Bee Colony Collapse Disorder
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines colony collapse disorder as a nearly dead colony of bees with an unaffected queen and immature bees left behind when the other bees perish. To date, no definitive cause has been found for colony collapse disorder and no cure has been identified. It is widely believed that pesticides or other environmental factors are leading to an increase in colony collapse disorder in bees, but this fact has yet to be proven.
Honey Bee Swarms
While the bee swarm on your property might look like something out of a horror movie, the bees are actually quite docile while they swarm. They aren't interested in stinging you because they have a much more important quest to complete. The purpose of the swarm is to move about half of an existing hive from one location to a new one.
A new queen is hatched by a hive when its size becomes too large. Once the queen bee hatches, then she leaves the hive to start her own colony. Half of the worker bees in the colony instinctively leave and follow the queen to her new hive location. At the center of the ball of bees in your tree is a queen bee that all of the rest of the bees are protecting in an amazing feat of nature.
Honey Bee Swarm Preservation and Removal
Since so many bees have died from CCD, it is very important for you to have the bee swarm on your property safely relocated by pest control professionals. The technician will dress in specialized protective clothing and knock the bees off of the branch and into a hive box. Once the queen bee has landed inside of the box, then the rest of the bees will follow her. When all of the bees have been collected, then the hive is relocated to an apiary to pollinate crops and produce honey for human consumption.
As you can see, colony collapse disorder in bees is a very serious situation. When you find a swarm of bees, you should always contact a local pest control company that will safely remove the bees and relocate them into a new hive box rather than exterminate them.