Well, I don’t know that I’m interested enough to spend money to set up hives – but did attend a beekeeping course this weekend. Mostly, I was hoping to get more information so that I’d be better able to help people that call about swarms of honey bees. We do get a fair number of calls about bees each year…. and have yet to find a beekeeper in the area that wants anything to do with them.
Fortunately, only some of them actually turn out to actually be bees – except in the case of swarms. Wasps of any variety, we have no qualms about treating, but with so much in the media about bees dying and how that will impact pollination and food production, we’d hate to harm any more than absolutely necessary.
Interestingly, one of the very first things I learned about bees is that they don’t actually belong here! Bees are imports; they don’t like Canadian weather. But they do so much good for food production that it’s worth it to continue to help them to survive here. And clearly, if’s very possible to do so, if one knows what one is doing (and is willing to invest the time & money to do things properly). And it can be a profitable enterprise as well.
I did not, however, learn a whole lot about dealing with swarms! Which wasn’t at all surprising, as it was an introductory course meant for potential beekeepers, not really for me. He did talk about when and how they happen though, and that, in combination with further research, has given me rather more to go on. Think I’d want to do a whole lot more learning before we would actually feel qualified to DO anything though.
And of course, there’s little/no point to collecting a swarm unless one has a place to relocate them to. Suppose we could purchase a hive and supplies and hope for a swarm call to come along – but that seems like a fairly big investment for something that may or may not happen.
Anyway, we shall see. For now, though, we shall continue on as we have been, which is to identify the pest, and figure out the best way to handle it. In most cases, a bee swarm really isn’t near as big a problem as people tend to think. They are in search of a new & suitable home, and as long as you’re not providing them with that, they will soon move along.