bee colonies

freeimages.com/Caroline Kjall

This time of year, you might be startled by the sight of a huge swarm of honeybees. It can happen not only in agricultural areas, but also in your neighbor's backyard or even in the middle of a city.

"It can be kind of scary thing to see a big, buzzing ball of thousands of honeybees, right?" Emma Mullen asked. "That's a lot of people's worst nightmares." 

But Mullen, senior honeybee extension associate at Cornell University, says those bees are typically harmless.

They're just taking a cue from the warm weather and the flowering plants that it's time to reproduce.