Honey, there’s no bee short­age in Taradale

Mid­day swarm causes ker­fuf­fle for cus­tomers at phar­macy

Hawke's Bay Today - - News - Laura Wilt­shire

There was a strange sight at the Taradale shops on Thurs­day, when a swarm of bees flew down the street and landed on a tree.

Me­gan Nat­trass, who works at Glenns Phar­macy, said she was serv­ing a cus­tomer around mid­morn­ing when she saw the bees.

“We looked out the door and there was just this swarm, they were all fly­ing.

“Then they started com­ing in the shop, so we had to shut the door.

“They were hang­ing around for prob­a­bly 20 min­utes and then they started land­ing, so I think the queen had ob­vi­ously found this tree.”

She said she had never seen any­thing like it be­fore.

“I’ve been out here for ages, never seen any­thing like it.”

Nat­trass shooed the bees in­side the phar­macy out, and said there were a few squeals from some of the other staff.

Bee en­thu­si­ast Rick Gra­ham, who re­moved the bees, said swarms were not un­com­mon at this time of year.

He said dur­ing spring, na­ture ex­pands — bees run out of room in the hives — mean­ing swarms can form.

He said the swarm could be re­moved from a tree by sur­round­ing the branch they landed on and then ei­ther shak­ing or clip­ping the branch to get the bees in the box.

The box then has to be left in the same spot to en­sure any bees off fly­ing at the time, make it back.

“As long as you’ve got the queen in the box you seem to be OK,” Gra­ham said.

He said the best thing to do if you see a bee swarm in Hawke’s Bay is to leave it alone and call Arataki Honey, who could pass the de­tails on to a bee­keeper in the area to come and sort it out.

He said there was a world short­age of bees, so it would be a shame if they were killed by a pest erad­i­ca­tion com­pany.

PHOTO / ME­GAN NAT­TRASS

Bee en­thu­si­ast Rick Gra­ham said swarms were not un­com­mon at this time of year.

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