North Texas Abuzz with Bees

A swarm of about 2,000 bees was not the sight many runners on the Shoreline Trail were hoping to see, but that’s exactly what they found early this week.

On Wednesday morning, beekeeper Mike Pharis of Lewisville removed the swarm from The Colony trail to relocate them somewhere safe.

Videos and pictures he took show a giant ball of bees in the trees at the 2.5 mile marker, as well as bees swarming the ground. However, Pharis said it was by no means one of the bigger swarms he’s dealt with lately.

Beekeepers across the Metroplex and the state have reported a lot of calls lately for swarms and hives showing up; some with bees numbering the tens of thousands.

Many also report high volumes of service calls to the Houston area after a swarm of bees killed three dogs in a neighborhood there this week.

Brandon Boughen, Denton County Extension Agent for Texas A&M Agrilife, said a big reason so many bees are moving right now is water. He said like everyone else, the bees are being effected by the drought and are looking for open water to consume and keep their hive and honey producing.

Also, a lot of swarms are just looking for new homes right now. Normally you’ll see them moving earlier in the year, but North Texas keepers say the cooler than normal spring left some colonies confused and getting a late start.

Boughen stressed that if you do find a swarm or hive near your home to leave it alone and call an expert; he said local extension offices can guide you in this process or you can search online for a beekeeper.

Experts will be able to safely remove the bees and attempt to do so without killing them.

"They're necessary, we absolutely need them, but the safety of ourselves and our family are really paramount,” said Boughen.

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