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Do You Want to Protect Your Bees

This program emphasizes the registration and site location of honeybee colonies in Fresno County. The State of California requires all beekeepers register their apiaries with the County Agricultural Commissioner, providing specific details as to where the apiaries are located.

If the bees are used to help pollinate or are placed around crops that may be sprayed with pesticides, the beekeeper should also give the locations of the hives themselves so the beekeeper can be notified if a spray is going to occur.

At the request of beekeepers or growers, the Department may inspect colonies for strength and health to ensure effective pollination.

Spring brings an abundance of phone calls with often panicked people wondering what to do about masses of bees, or bee swarms that have moved into their neighborhoods. Bees will sometimes leave the hive in a swarm to start a new hive. This is a natural behavior of colony reproduction that allows the bees to find new food sources when the hive gets large, and is not a great cause for alarm. Swarming is how bee populations expand and move into new areas. Honeybees will swarm when their hives become congested due to the rapid building of bees and stored food as temperatures warm up in the Spring.

Here is a link to a video of a Bee Swarm that was located at the UC Cooperative Extension here in Fresno County, you can learn more about swarms and what to do if one moves into your area, just click the link below to view a narrated power point.

Swarms are usually gentle and beekeepers may come collect them to build up their own apiaries.

Here is a link to a list of Beekeepers that could be available to come and get the swarms, should the bees choose your residence as their new home.

During the heat of summer, bees need a lot of water to keep the hive cool. Sometimes beehives in boxes become a nuisance at pools or livestock water troughs. Please call Code Enforcement at 559-600-4550 if you are experiencing this nuisance.

If you would like additional information about "Removing Swarms and Established Colonies from Private Property" written by Eric C. Mussen, Extension Apiculturist at UC Davis, please click the link below:

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