It’s swarming up

Don’t try this at home: Mark Woodcock says he knows exactly when he can get up and close with his hive without a full suit of armour, but if you get it wrong expect a stinging rebuke from the swarm.

APIARISTS have warned locals that bees have started swarming around Fremantle and surrounding suburbs now spring has arrived.

White Gum Valley bee enthusiast Mark Woodcock said this year’s wet winter would produce a bumper flower season and more bees would be swarming.

“This year will be quite a big year for swarms because we’ve had a huge amount of water around, you’ll see the flowers are out everywhere,” he said.

“The increased number of flowering plants stimulate beehives to start reproducing so they have enough workers to collect the nectar and pollen the hive needs to get through the winter.”

Swarming is when a majority of bees leave their hive to start another in a different location due to overcrowding in their current hive, according to the West Australian Apiarist Society’s website.

“When bees swarm they are most unlikely to sting, so despite their appearance, people should not fear them, just treat them with respect,” WAAS stated. 

Mr Woodcock, who’s nominating to run for North Ward in next month’s council elections, said people should contact WAAS professionals to come and collect the swarms rather than try handling themselves.  

“Normally if you call the council, they just come around and kill the swarm,” he said. 

“It is much easier to catch the swarms at this stage before they make a more permanent home so if you see a swarm, it is best to report it as soon as possible.”

Contacts for local swarm catchers can be found at


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