Local Beekeeper Gives The Buzz On Honey Bees

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ARKANSAS (KFSM) -- Honey bee's play a critical role in pollinating over 30% of the world's food supply, and it's no secret bees are slowly disappearing.

With the spring season comes flowers, which attract bees. President of the Northwest Arkansas Beekeepers Association said he gets stung on a regular basis, but there's a reason. "The only time honey bees are going to sting you, is to protect their home," said Brad Keck.

Spring is the time of year most local honey bees swarm, and Keck said although it looks intimidating, there's nothing to be afraid of. "It's a natural way for them to propagate their species."

This is how honey bees make more colonies. "Swarms are not dangerous," said Keck. "They're just a cluster of bees who are looking for a new home."

If you come across a swarm of bees, it means the queen has left the hive and she's taken about 2/3 of the bees with her. "When they swarm like that they have a 30% chance of survival," said Keck. That's why it's important to take the right steps.

If you don't want bees near your home, there's a couple things you can do:

  • Feed the bees: Plant a tree or fragrant flowers away from your house to attract them elsewhere. Most honey bees don't bother others unless they feel their home is at risk.
  • Check for holes in your home: Swarms are looking for a hole that's 2 to 4 inches, and if they find one in your home, it's more difficult and expensive to get them out.

If you do have an unwanted swarm of bees near your home, a local beekeeper will come get it and safely remove it.

Here's a list of local beekeeper groups:

Northwest Arkansas Beekeepers Association

Benton County Beekeepers

Carroll County Beekeepers Association

Western Arkansas Eastern Oklahoma Beekeepers Association 

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