Swarming is the honey bee's method of colony reproduction. Worker bee "scouts" leave the nest to look for a location for a new nest. Once found, the queen bee and about half of the worker bees leave their nest to find a new home. The departing swarm can contain as many as 20,000 honey bees.
It can be difficult to tell if a honey bee cluster on the side of your home is simply bees resting or looking to build a colony. If the cluster continues to grow, they are likely moving in. You can prevent a colony from forming by locking the bees in. Just put a screen or steel wool over the top of the cluster to lock them in, and they will die in a week or two. If some bees make their way you're your home, they'll fly to a window and stay there until they die of dehydration.
Honey bees inside your house in an inaccessible area can be treated. But if the hive is in an accessible area, honey bee swarm removal is best accomplished by a beekeeper. Honey bees are beneficial to the environment, so it's best to save the swarm. Many times beekeepers will remove the nest and move it to another location.
If you have a honey bee swarm you'd like removed, you can contact Josiah Garber (717) 723-9070 or visit this website, Lancaster County Honey Producers, to find a list of other swarm removal specialists. Just click on Swarm Collection. If you aren't sure how to proceed, give us a call and we will be happy to help you.