Who Ya Gonna Call: Beekeepers

Earlier this week, when environmental reporter Chris Dunagan received a newsletter from the West Sound Beekeepers Association and asked, “OK, who’s the bee reporter around here?” I had to arm wrestle Steve Gardner. Guess who won.

Yes, Gardner recently wrote that exciting piece on the invasion of the bee swarm at Peninsula Subaru, but I demand credit for my willingness, yea, eagerness, a couple weeks earlier to check out a report on the police scanner of a box of bees discarded in an alley near Safeway in Bremerton. I dropped what I was doing, Pulitzer material though it may have been, and headed out there, ready to be stung in the line of duty. Alas there was no sign of bees or emergency workers, who were reported to have responded to the complaint.

Dang, I hate it when that happens.

I have been fascinated with bees since before I wrote about the North Kitsap couple who heralded the survival of Kitsap’s bee population, despite the dreaded colony collapse disorder. Credit here should go to intrepid reporter Ed Friedrich, who is also obsessed with bees and had been egging all of us on for months to check it out.

It’s spring. Animals (and insects) are on the move. Why, just today I heard from our homeowners association that a bear had been sighted on trails near McCormick Woods. The deer in the neighborhood are positively militant. The woodpeckers are hammering on the metal flashing of our roof, just because it sounds sexier than hammering on a rotten stump. And as I drive to work, I see that the Canada geese that Friedrich is so enthralled with on the Gorst shoreline are multiplying, their young ones getting to the stage that my kids are at – just about to get booted out on their own.

Yes, it’s a wild world out there.

The West Sound beekeepers advise that swarms of bees in the spring are normal and nothing to be alarmed at. Members of the group will come, as Gardner so aptly described, and pluck unwanted swarms from your shrubbery, happy to be of service. The group, emulating their subjects of interest, are highly organized. There are members of the Swarm List, awaiting your call in all corners of the county. The newsletter (below) outlines the steps you should take in the event of a bee invasion of your property. Step number one: remain calm. As Gardner found out, while bees are swarming (moving to a new home) they are not likely to sting.

I apologize that the documents are sideways. Hopefully, you can print them for handy reference, just in case.

Chris Henry, bee correspondent for the Kitsap Sun



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Before you post, please complete the prompt below.

Please enter the word MILK here: