Some people view a swarm of bees settling on their property as a blessing. Last week a friend sent me link to a link to a very sad tale of a swarm of bees that settled on a barbecue in Australia (it's spring there-swarming season). The barbecue owner, dubbed the barbecue beehive bomber, didn't view the hive as a good thing, and so exterminated the bees with a can of bugkiller strapped to a rake. Sunset's Team Bee wept at the carnage.

Please, please, please! If you are visited by a swarm of bees, call a local beekeeper organization. They will be able to point you to a beekeeper who would love to take away the swarm. It's awful to kill so many bees if they can be saved.

And more importantly, removing a swarm of bees yourself could also endanger you and your family. In 2000, a swarm of bees attacked a family and killed their dog after they had tried to remove the hive themselves. So much damage could be averted with a little knowledge. The California Beekeeper Association website has a great page about beeswarms. Your local beekeeper organization will certainly be able to point you to people who would love to take your visiting bees.

It's not swarm season in the Northern Hemisphere right now, but it will soon be in many parts of the western United States. Wherever you live, make friends with a few beekeepers and let them know if a swarm of bees decides to grace you with buzzing. And perhaps you'll be graced with a jar of honey after the beekeeper has settled the bees in a new home.

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