A swarm of bees was spotted Wednesday afternoon in downtown Hays, but a local beekeeper said swarms pose no harm.

Greg Swob, a longtime area beekeeper, was called by Hays Police Department Animal Control to collect the swarm from a tree in Union Pacific Plaza, 10th and Main.

“When bees are swarming, it’s a reproductive thing. There’s been a new queen produced by a colony, half the bees, maybe a third of the bees are leaving the existing colony, which may be in a tree or may be in a managed bee colony somewhere,” he said.

“In this state, they’re very calm. They don’t have any young to protect, any honey to protect. Being stung in a swarm situation is pretty rare,” he said.

The swarm was about 15 feet up in the tree. With the height and increased winds from a storm system just southeast of Hays, Swob said it wasn’t safe to remove the bees from the branch.

Swob collected a trap he built and had placed on the roof of a nearby business and placed it in the tree. The trap was scented with lemongrass oil to attract the bees.

Swob, who said he has about three dozen hives around the area, said if he captured the bees, he would take them to one of his apiaries near the Ellis-Russell county line.

By Thursday afternoon, the swarm was no longer in the tree, but several were crawling on and flying around the trap.