Mild winter leading to bee swarms across Houston

HOUSTON – It's an unusual and disturbing sight for many.

A swarm of bees setting up camp on the front fender of a pickup truck at a local dealership.

Another large swarm was recorded taking up residence in a palm tree at a southeast Houston shopping center.

Viewers have shared these videos with Channel 2 this week. The swarms -- typically caused by a queen and her worker bees leaving one hive to form another -- are becoming more common as we move into the summer months on the heels of a mild winter.

Pest control expert Claude Griffin says his workload is the heaviest it's been in nearly 20 years.

"We could go seven days a week, 16 hours a day right now. Full blown, all day," says Griffin. "All night if we wanted to. If I had the energy. That's how bad it is right now."

On a job in the past few weeks, Griffin had to remove a hive containing several hundred thousand bees that was attached to someone's home.

On a home inspection in the Energy Corridor Friday, Griffin says the best advice if you encounter one of these swarms: remain calm.

"Don't get in a panic attack. Don't start trying to swat them off," warns Griffin. "You actually can move them off your arm real easy."

That of course is easier said than done -- but it's advice that could save you or a loved one from a painful experience or even worse.

"You gotta remain calm," says Griffin. "And nobody screaming. Nobody running, nobody slamming the door."

Griffin says on a scale from 1-10 with 10 being the worst, the number of bees is at a 10 right now and may drop to a nine throughout the summer.

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