Photo: Courtesy Anne Violette
Anne Violette of Pearland found thousands of honey bees swarming her home Saturday.
When Anne Violette, 45, started to spot a few honey bees buzzing around her Pearland home on Friday, she didn’t think much of it.
But by Saturday she awoke to hundreds of thousands of bees swarming her house and garage. Quarantined at home with three kids – 8-year-old twins and a 10-year-old – she was afraid to leave her house or even go outside.
“I just thought it was crazy, it was like an epic amount of bees,” Violette said. “Why did they choose my house?”
Anne Violette of Pearland found thousands of honey bees swarming her home on Saturday. The spring months signal swarming season for honey bees; they usually swarm like this as a way to reproduce and start a colony with a new queen bee.
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After a few hours, the swarm started pouring into her garage and quickly built a massive hive on a middle beam in the ceiling.
“They decided they liked it here and told all of their friends,” Violette laughed.
The spring and summer months signal swarming season for honey bees. The bees swarm often as a way to reproduce and start a colony with a new queen bee, according to the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension website. Honey bees may also swarm when their nest is overcrowded, or because of heat, pest infestation or a lack of food or water in the area.
Swarming can last for minutes or several days before the bees relocate. While they are typically harmless, they can become aggravated and sting a person when they are bothered or feel their nest is at risk. Experts recommend avoiding the insects and to allow a professional beekeeper to come and safely remove a hive.
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The bees’ unwelcome presence has forced Violette and her husband to leave equipment for their pool business outside of their garage. She said she reached out to several local beekeepers and garden clubs for help removing the insects but most were either booked for the next several weeks or offered a minimum cost of $500. Until she can find a better solution, she plans on using a homemade spray from a nearby resident before resorting to an exterminator.
“I don’t want to kill them because honey bees are vital to pollination,” Violette said. “I am hoping they will leave on their own.”
Anyone who comes across a large hive or swarm is encouraged not to kill the insects, as they are vital to U.S. agriculture. Honey bees contribute more than $16 billion annually to U.S. agriculture and pollinate one-third of the crops humans consume every year, per A&M.
To protect against a swarm of bees, homeowners are encouraged to keep garbage cans covered and away from doorways and to keep ripe fruit, sweets and sugar covered or away from any insects.
Rebecca Hennes covers community news. Read her on our breaking news site, Chron.com, and on our subscriber site, houstonchronicle.com.