It's the time of year when the queen gets nasty.
She has a spike in her tongue and uses it to stab her rivals in the head. Then she leaves the corpses. She and her courtiers seek a new home.
It's not very nice but the truth needs to be told.
Humans are now being urged to look out for swarms of roving fugitives before they get ensconced in holes in house walls in the ACT.
About 70,000 were holed up in a roof top siege in Downer yesterday.
The culprits are, of course, honey bees.
"It's quite violent," said Jim Bariesheff who acts for the ACT government as a bee and wasp expert.
The queen lays eggs in the old hive. At the moment, the eggs are hatching.
"The first queen will emerge and then assassinate the other queens who are developing still in the honeycomb.
"They have a spike in their tongue and she will pierce their heads before they emerge."
With all her rivals gone, the queen will gather some of the rest of the drones in the hive and head off to find a suitable new place to live.
To give them sustenance in their trek, they gorge themselves on honey from the old hive. They also have plates of wax on their undersides to use to build their new home.
You might see swarms on a clothes line or a tree branch about now. Or in a chimney crack.
According to Mr Bariesheff, worker bees then leave the swarm on the line and scout around for a new property (much like humans do). They seek cavities in trees or house walls and measure them up (again, much like humans do).
The scout bees will then return to the swarm and communicate the suitability of the place they've inspected. They do this by dancing - what's known as a waggle dance.
The waggle dance involves the bee flying round and round in a pattern. The height, the number of waggles and the direction of flight relative to the sun tells the others how good the new place seems.
"If they are excited by the new location, they might do the waggle dance up to 200 times," said beekeeper, Dermot AsIs Sha'Non, who is currently collecting swarms in the ACT.
"If they are only so-so about the new location, they do it 10 to 15 times."
At this stage, another piece of brutality comes in.
Bees who are very enthusiastic about a location they've found kill scouts who are only lukewarm. In that way, a kind of consensus builds up where only the most enthusiastic remain alive. The enthusiasts get their way.
If the swarm decides on a new location, they are off in an instant. One moment, they are on your line and the next moment they are gone.
Mr AsIs Sha'Non cleared a chimney in Downer on Tuesday.
Annabelle Strang heard a buzzing on the roof. "It took a while to click. It was so loud I thought that it was a car or a machine but I looked up and saw that it was a swarm."
The swarm collector arrived and got on the roof in the full gear. He removed bricks and then sucked them out with a vacuum. Sometimes, he smokes them out. He reckoned there were as many as 70,000 there. They would be taken to a hive.
Access Canberra urged people to use the eWasp app to report a swarm. It is available at ewasp.com.au.