Jane from CLEAR writes about how important bees are to our everyday lives in her latest blog.
Aware of a buzz in the air? Is it the excitement as lockdown restrictions lift? Could it something else? The swarm season is upon us, so it could very well be honey bees.
They swarm on warm sunny days from May until the end of July (usually between 11am and 4 pm), and often occur after poor weather, as the temperature rises into the high teens. It is a natural reproductive process. After surviving winter, a colony can expand up to 50,000 worker bees in the warmer weather. There is one queen bee in each colony, and she produces queen pheromone. With thousands of bees living together, not all of them receive the queen’s pheromone signals, so they create a new queen. The old queen and flying bees then leave their home to establish a new nest, but with the queen bee not the strongest flyer, they can stop to take a rest, while the worker bees search for a new home.
The sight and sound of thousands of swarming bees heading towards you or clumped on your car or a tree can be very frightening, but the bees are more interested in finding a new home than attacking anyone. Before leaving the hive, they gorge on honey, so generally speaking if they are swarming, they are in a semi-docile state, and unless you provoke them, they won’t harm you. However, it is always better to be wary and cautious around bees, and give them a wide berth, just in case.
They are an endangered species, but not protected, so if you do find a swarm or colony, contact a local beekeeper, who will generally be very happy to come and collect them. It is advisable to take a picture to ensure they are honey bees, not another species, as the bee keepers will only take honey bees.
Climate Action Fife Beekeepers can be contacted on:
Buckhaven And Methil (CLEAR) – Tel: 078 3355 3398
Rosyth (EATS) – firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 07782 848705 Honey bees are crucial for human life because they make up 80% of the worlds pollinating insects and 1/3 of the food we eat comes from pollinated plants. Without pollination, the plants can’t produce seeds, and without seeds – humans would have only four years to live. (Albert Einstein). Domestic honeybees kept in hives pollinate approximately 34% while the rest is done by wild species.
Climate Action Fife is a Fife-wide partnership project, bringing together individuals, communities, local government and businesses to tackle the climate emergency. It is funded by The National Lottery Community Fund’s Climate Action Fund. #ClimateActionFife