It’s swarming up’

Local bee keeper Steve McQuillan is happy to remove any swarms, rehousing them for honey production. Photo by Stacey Harding.

BEE swarming season is on us again, says local beekeeper Steve McQuillan, who’s so under the pump saving hives he’s even given up his FIFO job.

Mr McQuillan says after the winter months there’s a boom in worker bees, prompting the queen bee to getting ready to swarm.

“It’s a natural progression for the bees’ colony survival,” Mr McQuillan says.

“Fremantle is a popular spot for people also having their own hives in their backyard for personal use, but the risk is the colonies multiply and end up in a neighbour’s backyard, letterbox, or even inside their roof.”

Local resident Olga Correia discovered a gigantic swarm of bees had latched onto her towering bottlebrush tree, and while she’s not too worried about a sting, her mother is highly allergic. 

“It was like a phenomena; there were bees everywhere like something from a movie,” Ms Correia said.

McQuillan was called to remove the swarm, rescue the bees and rehouse them.

“It was a win-win situation as the bees are happy and protected in their new homes and my mother is reassured, and Steve benefits from the honey produced by the bees,” Ms Correia said. 

The WA Apiarist’s Society says when bees swarm they are unlikely to sting and despite the apocryphal appearance people shouldn’t fear them. 

The society warns against hosing a swarm with water, throwing stones at them or any other DIY removal remedies, saying that’s what’ll turn their usually placid mood.

The best thing is to stay clear of the swarm until a beekeeper can be contacted to safely move them along.


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