Bees have been busy this year.
A Castlemaine bee-keeper is reporting a particularly active swarm season.
He’s urging the public not to panic if they spot a swarm though, but to call him in to help.
Founder of Castlemaine Bee Sanctuary Daniel BeeShepherd has been kept as busy as the bees he tends. Earlier this week he was called out to six swarms in one day.
Bees swarm when half of a colony of bees follows a queen, to begin a new colony. The swarm will group together on an object nearby in a swarm cluster.
When Mr BeeShepherd is called to a swarm cluster he puts them in a box, or directly in a hive.
If the bees are left to cluster they can escape into people’s roofs or chimneys, and end up getting killed.
“It’s kind of preventative medicine. If you can catch the swam you’ve probably stopped a whole bunch of trouble from happening,” Mr BeeShepherd said.
“All they’re doing is trying to find a home. Don’t freak out, call a beekeeper, it’s actually an amazing force of nature, and we should respect it rather than trying to kill it.”
Read more: On a mission to protect bees
Mr BeeShepherd said he believed it was important to dispel the fear around bees.
While they are dangerous for some people, most people do not need to be scared, he said.
Mr BeeShepherd offers an adopt a hive program, where he looks after a hive in people’s gardens.
“Generally speaking swarms are as docile as bees ever get,” Mr BeeShepherd said.
“Many more unpleasant things happen because people are scared of bees when they don’t need to be.
They’re incredibly pollinators, and there’s a magic around having bees in your garden. It’s very difficult to explain in words.”
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