Local Bee Keepers take on Swarming Bees

Beekeepers, who are Trustees of the Sarah Baartman Honey Bee Trust (SBHBT), have recently undergone additional training in the art of removing swarming bees. These beekeepers will focus on removing swarming bees in the areas of Hankey, Patensie, Jeffreys Bay and Humansdorp.

Whilst swarming bees are a natural occurrence in nature, taking place when honey bees want to reproduce their colonies, it is very distressing when they end up in homes or even schools. “It can be quite unnerving to have large numbers of bees around, especially if they establish a colony within your house or as in a recent case, at a primary school in Hankey,” said Malcolm Botes, beekeeping mentor of the Sarah Baartman Honey Bee Trust.

This delicate procedure is best managed by experts, such as the newly trained SBHBT beekeepers, who charge a small fee to cover the cost of a call-out. The additional benefit, which is just as important, is that the swarm can be placed into a hive and become part of a productive apiary. This is especially important considering the plight of our honey bee population. “The beekeepers have been trained and equipped to offer this service as part of the Sarah Baartman Haney Bee Trust business,” added Botes.

The SBHBT launched a year ago and has already completed their first two harvests. The Trust which is funded as part of Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm’s enterprise development programme, is expected to be operating 500 beehives by the end of this year.

About Swarming Bees:
Swarming starts when specialised worker bees known as “scouts” start canvassing surrounding territory for potential new nests. A departing swarm normally consists of huge numbers of bees numbering anything from 5,000 to 20,000 that seem to drift along through the air.

March 2017