Saturday 10 December 2016

Expert warns Irish not to attack swarming bees with stick or hose

Published 13/06/2015 | 09:11

bumble bee
bumble bee

Forget the stick and garden hose, the best way to get rid of bees is to call the local bee-keeper.

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An expert has advised Irish people that it is now the season when they may notice more bees about than normal.

Bees are dividing and swarming from their host colonies as their colonies expand and congestion becomes a problem.

However, grabbing the garden hose isn't a good idea, Philip McCabe of the Federation of Irish Beekeepers' Associations said.

"The queen may be making more than 2,000 eggs a day at the moment, the colonies are expanding and congestion is a problem," Mr McCabe told RTE Radio One's Countrywide.

"It's a collective decision, they think if we don't split now we're going to die. This is when the bees will raise a new queen, divide and swarm from their colonies.

"If you see them out on the garden wall or by a tree, the best thing to do is nothing," he continued.

"They're only parking there for three of four hours, they have been known to stay there for three or four days, but they're just waiting.

"They'll send scouts out and they'll already decide on a new home before they leave."

Mr McCabe said it is a possibility they may choose to nest in the eaves of your house or shed and, if that is the case, calling a bee-keeper is the safest option.

"Contact your local bee-keeper and they'll come and collect them, they'll be delighted to do it. The worst thing you can do is grab a stick or a hose."

Mr McCabe advised people to check irishbeekeeping.ie to find their local bee-keeper.

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