Warm weather triggers rise in bee swarms along popular hiking trail


It’s been hot and humid. Combine that with the constant rain and you may have noticed the island is a lot greener.

While those conditions are great for plants, it’s also good weather for bees.

Have you seen swarms of bees lately?

No? Well, a lot of people have, and experts tell KHON2 the weather is causing the unusual activity.

If you hike the popular Koko Head Crater Trail, it’s common to see a few bees, but lately hikers say there are a lot more.

“I haven’t been there in a while, but on the trail in the middle there is a huge swarm of bees over there and it’s not like that usually,” said hiker Kuha’o Ching.

This is the season for bees to swarm, but this year is a little different.

“It’s unusual what we are seeing now,” said University of Hawaii Entomologist, Mark Wright. “It was not as noticeable last year because we did not have the same environmental conditions. Right now it has been really warm and there is lots of moisture so there is a lot of flowering and a prolonged season. Really that’s what’s made it so noticeable.”

Wright says bees swarming means a colony is healthy and that the bees are reproducing, but when a colony becomes too big some of the bees will leave to find a new home.

“When they are moving it will look almost like a massive cloud of bees,” said Wright.

If you come across a swarm of bees or a hive, Wright says it’s best to stay calm and try to stay away.

“It is just best to keep moving slowly and don’t try to swat them and as soon as you swat one that sets off a chain reaction you could end up with a bunch,” said Wright.

Bee colonies tend to swarm in trees, under houses and even on power lines.

Wright says if you find a swarm near your home it will probably move on in a day or two, but if it stays longer you should call a bee expert.

As for the bees on Koko Head Crater Trail, the city is aware of the recent increase in bees and is looking into ways to address the situation.

 

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