Beekeeper: We Need Bees, Don't Spray Them

By: Kendra Potter Email
By: Kendra Potter Email
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Many people say they would run away, or pick up a can of pesticide if they saw a swarm of bees.

But beekeepers are asking you to let them be, and give them a call before you spray.

They say the bees are important for the survival of the bee population and in turn keep food on our tables.

This time of year is when we start seeing more swarms of bees collecting around houses, businesses, or on fences.

And according to Southern Colorado amateur beekeepers John and Dee Cook, it’s a good thing.

“Every time you see a swarm it is something that is there to sustain you,” said John Cook.

The couple has been caring for bees for more than 30 years. They have 19 hives in their own backyard.

They say the bees alive now are called “survivor bees,” the only ones able to fight off diseases and pesticides that have killed off hundreds of thousands of bees over the last few decades.

Cook says if we keep losing bees, it could threaten our nation’s food production. And it’s not just honey: this includes all citrus, nuts and beef. In order to keep producing foods we need to sustain us, we need bees to keep pollinating fields.

“We used to have a surplus of between 900,000 and 1.2 million hives. Because of diseases and pesticides that we’ve been seeing within the beekeeping community, we are seeing a reserve of less than 330,000 hives,” said Cook.

He adds, “Once we get below that 330,000 we are going to be as a nation facing famine because of the fact that bees actually are producing food for us.

Cook says the bees in the swarms are just looking for a new home--something local beekeepers are happy to give them.

In turn, they can repopulate the “survivor bees” to ensure we have bees pollinating for decades to come.

“It benefits each and every one of us because every time that a beekeeper is able to catch one of these swarms, we are able to use it in helping produce the food that we want to see produced. Food to sustain us, and food we enjoy,” said Cook.

So what should you do when you see a swarm of bees at your house or business? Call a local beekeeper or beekeeping club to remove them. They will catch them for free.

Here are some tips:

1. Stay Calm. Bees are the least aggressive when in the swarms. They are the most docile you will ever see them.

2. Stay Away. Don’t disturb the swarm and especially don’t spray them with a pesticide.

3. Call A Beekeeper To Remove It. They will catch them for free.

To find a local beekeeper of club visit:

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