JUST RECENTLY A SWARM OF BEES checked in to our backyard. First they hovered, unsure of their welcome. First we hovered, unsure of their welcome. Were they wasps? Hornets? We phoned experts who were eating lunch and said to call later. We called later and were instructed to phone other more expert experts. We established they were indeed honey
bees. The honey bees established that they were indeed staying. It was a nice place under our roof in the side of the house in our backyard. The Queen made her pronouncement and they ushered her in and made her comfortable.
According to the Alberta Beekeepers Association website (Yes, there is such a thing.) bees travel in swarms during the “spring, summer, and fall months” (presumably because during winter their wings won’t start) and one should “remain calm and collected as the bees are not aggressive” and contact a certified honey bee swarm catcher. How does one qualify, I wonder, to become a honey bee swarm catcher? The answer (It’s so obvious.), you take a course at college, specifically Fairview College–google details if you’re interested).
I am a total lay-person when it comes to bees–as in I lay there as still as possible until they leave. So for the sake of people too lazy to google, here are some factoids:
1. If you need a big word you may call a beekeeper an apiculturalist.
2. According to the government of Alberta Website, Beekeeping for Beginners, bee stings hurt. I had no idea. But did you know that for about 0.4 percent of the population, a bee sting will bee fatal. (I suppose I shouldn’t joke about that.) I told this to my dog who will eat anything including bee corpses, and he pointed out that dogs don’t listen to statistics.
3. There are three types of honey bees: queens, workers, and drones. The Queen buzzes with a British accent. The workers are not allowed to unionize in Alberta. The drones hunt for terrorists.
4. You can get your bees in packages. This is not made up. That’s what the website says. I wonder if Canada Post will deliver.
5. According to some random website I visited, we depend on honey bees to pollinate one third of the world’s food supply.
6. Alberta is the third largest honey producer in North America. Alberta, known for our sticky liquids.
7. Our Insurance does not cover insect related damage. Yes, Dad, bees are an insect.
Well, despite the exciting possibilities of being stung to death, the bees had to move out. You’re not allowed to keep bees where I live, or even let them rent out part of your roof. So long, bees. Thank you for the big hole in our roof where we had to cut up the shingles to get you out. It’s been fun.