Got bees? Call the bee swarm hotline
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When large ball of bees, the size of a small house, just happens to be buzzing around alarming neighbours and frightening people, there’s now a dedicated bee swarm hotline you can call in Victoria.
“It’s quite large, quite noisy, you can see them a block away, hear them a block away, and most people don’t really understand how docile they (honey bees) really are,” said Barry Denluck, the Capital Region Beekeepers Association’s (CRBA) co-president about the swarms which range from 5,000 to 15,000 bees each. “So they get kind of scared and when they land on a lamppost downtown.”
It’s no news the bee population is dwindling, which is why the CRBA decided to set up this initiative, in hopes of capturing more honey bees so they can help build a stronger bee community.
Denluck says swarms are from hives that survived the winter and are quality bees that can survive the climate and conditions of the area. And those are the ones they want.
During swarming season, from May to June every year, there’s approximately five bee swarms that take place everyday in Victoria, maybe about 100 swarms a year, says Denluck.
Before, bee swarm sightings were usually reported to the fire department or police, who will then contact local beekeepers. Now when someone calls the CRBA’s hotline, they’ll make use of their network of about 20 beekeepers across Greater Victoria, who will go out and take the bees in.
Denluck loves his job. He’s a bit of a celebrity when he shows up in his bee suit and saves the day.
“It’s really fun, you drive up and there’s always a half a dozen people or more waiting for you, you say hello, you put on a bee suit, bring down the ball of bees, talk to people and just talk to people about bees,” he said.