Bee Season Keeps Keepers Buzzing

(Southaven, MS) Cindy Lancaster stopped dead in her tracks as she left the dentist’s office.

”It’s scary. I thought I was fixin’ to get stung.”

She saw a swarm of bees in a small tree just a couple of feet from the parking lot.

Bee expert Tim Durham says bee swarming season has just started.

”They just started doing this swarming and they swarm this time of year and that’s how they multiply.”

A swarm looks intimidating, even dangerous, but experts say there’s really very little risk to people.

Bees are actually at their most peaceful when they’re swarming.

The only way most of us could get stung is if we bother them.

Durham says if you see a swarm, don’t go near them.

”Don’t bother ‘em, don’t throw at ‘em, just call the beekeeper and we’ll be happy to come out and put ‘em in the beehive.”

He says an empty hive and a little smoke will coax them into a comfortable new home.

”When the queen goes in there, the rest of ‘em will follow.”

Durham says it’s important to keep healthy bees alive because disease kills millions of them all the time.

”Thirty percent of the bees are dying every year, and one third of the food we eat is a result of honeybees.”

That’s because they pollinate crops so they can grow.

”I think it’s great, he’s over there fixin’ to get stung and it’s making me want to leave,” said Lancaster.

Because most of us still find these buzzing stingers intimidating.

”I hope he gets paid very well,” she said.

It may not pay well, but Durham admits it is a sweet job.

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