Home » News » Importance of saving our bees

Importance of saving our bees

Importance of saving our bees

Spring isn’t just a time for flowers and the sun to shine, but also a time for bees to leave their big hive and take off in a swarm with a new queen.

Angaston residents, Sally Fennessy and Brian Linke are amidst educating the Barossa community about the importance of saving bees, even in massive swarms.

Brian has been collecting swarms of bees for a couple of years now, and this year has noticed a significant increase in the number of swarms around the area.

He explains that there are lots of theories out there why there are more bees this year than last. 

However his theory is that there was an early flowering of bluegums this year, which has stimulated the hives and made the bees want to swarm.

“They swarmed right when the bad weather hit. It wasn’t a good time and we still have many more swarms to come in the next month,” said Brian, who has been inundated with calls of swarms in the area.

Since September Brian has already collected more than 35 swarms of bees, with each swarm containing anywhere from 5,000 or 10,000 little bees.

He explained that he has caught bees in all situations, ranging from carparks to swarms being in a couch on someone’s verandah, adding that they make their homes in the funniest places.

In terms of actually collecting the bees, Brian takes a nuc box (a small box with five frames), takes the frames out, scoops  up the bees, places them in the box, leaves it overnight and once all the bees are in, shuts the door and takes them home.

When bees swarm and leave the main hive they aren’t aggressive because they don’t have a home to protect anymore.

Sally believes that although the community is starting to become more aware when it comes to bees and not killing them, she said that a lot of people don’t know what to do if they come across a swarm.

In the past, people have been known to just call the pest exterminator as the bees could be in an awkward spot in their yard or come across as intimidating. 

Brian and Sally agreed that people used to be put off calling a bee keeper as it could cost up to $100 and cause more hassle than good.

Collecting swarms takes time, Sally and Brian offer their services for free as this is incredibly important to them.

Their passion for bees continues to grow and the pair have noticed that people are becoming more and more interested in bees, with many wanting to buy their own bee hives.

“When we started out there weren’t very many bee keepers that wanted to help us out and provide information or advice,” said Sally.

“We starting studying and just learnt from there.”

 For the full story see this week’s edition of The Leader.