Expert: Large swarm of bees not harmful

FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — So many bees were outside a Fishers house on Sunday, the resident thought the neighborhood would need to be evacuated.

“I looked out the window and I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh. There’s bees everywhere,'” said Rich Correll, whose wife originally discovered the bees.

Pushing panic aside for a moment, he went to the Internet and found the Indiana Bee Keepers Association. A couple of calls later and Jerry Zimmerman, a life member, came and rescued the swarm of bees.

“[It] was one of the largest I have ever seen,” Zimmerman said.

There were so many — 10,000 to 12,000 — Zimmerman had to use a box twice the size of the usual collection box. He says swarms come from overcrowded hives.

“Some of the bees recognize that and they’ll go through a process where half of the bees leave and find a new location,” Zimmerman said.

Along the way they stop temporarily to regroup, like they did in the Corrells’ tree. Zimmerman got them down and collected them in the box. The much-needed honey bees will form a new hive now and get back to pollination.

Both men stress there’s no need to fear honey bees.

“They’re not dangerous. They’re not going to attack you. They are not going to attack your children. Back off. Call a beekeeper,” Zimmerman said.

He said the way to distinguish honey bees from other stinging insects, like yellow jackets, is by their color. Honey bees are not bright yellow. The bees collected by Zimmerman are being given to a firefighter who lost most of his hive over the winter. If you see a swarm or fear one might have moved into the walls of your home,  Zimmerman says just search beekeepers in Indiana on the Internet and call one.

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