Margot Curtis was digging in her garden recently when she heard a strange buzzing noise.
A large swarm of bees flew overhead, into her backyard, and began nesting in one of the trees.
“I’ve never seen anything like it – there were thousands of them,” she said.
“The noise is what alerted me, but I was amazed by how quickly they all gathered in the tree.
“With all of the recent rain, gardens are looking lovely and green lately, which is what attracted them I think.
“But they gathered rather close to the house, at only about eye-level, and I wasn’t sure what to do.”
Ms Curtis quickly contacted her landlords, Louise and Russell Stewart, for assistance.
The Stewarts sought the help of local bee expert and Mapstone Apiaries, Dan Mapstone, who removed the hive within the day.
“I took over one of my mini hives with a few frames in it and placed it under the tree” he said.
“From there, I just shook the branch and the bees fell in the box.
“With a few good shakes, the queen fell into my portable hive and the rest of the population followed.
“I left the box there until later that day, when all the bees had settled inside, then took them away from the property.”
From there, Mr Mapstone relocated the swarm to a quarantine location out of town.
“Once we know they’re all safe, the bees will be worked into the regular pollination roster with all of the other populations we look after,” he said.
Mr Mapstone said these kind of bee removal jobs have kept him busy this season.
“I did about a dozen in the first half of spring alone,” he said.
“And I expect this volume to remain quite high, so locals should be on the lookout for bee populations in and around your properties.”
While Mr Mapstone asks locals to be cautious, he wants to reassure everyone that there’s nothing to be scared of when it comes to this insect.
“If you see a swarm, try to stay a few metres away from it and call myself or another beekeeper,” he said.
“But, nine times out of 10, these bees won’t be aggressive since they don’t have an established hive to protect.
Mr Mapstone also took this opportunity to remind everyone just how important these creatures are to the environment.
“Bees are to thank for the lovely, pollinated flowers you’re seeing all around this season,” he said.
“The local bee population has continued to grow as people in the area learn more about them, and take an interest in protecting the critically endangered species.
“So please, if you see a swarm, simply steer clear and get a professional’s help to relocate them.”
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