FAIR OAKS (CBS13) — Honey Bees are swarming the Sacramento, region making temporary hives in homes, businesses, and even cars. The swarms are creating big business for local area beekeepers answering emergency calls from panicked people requesting they be removed.
Blake Dacy runs Sacramento Beekeeper and specializes in swarm removal.
Monday evening he was working on the roof of Fitness 19 in Fair Oaks where a swarm of approximately 10,000 bees settled onto the building’s air conditioning unit. As he carefully scooped bees into a portable hive he quipped, “This is only a temporary location for them, we want to rescue them before they might move to a post where they might be exterminated or become a danger to other people.”
For that reason, the gym management called Dacy, who has literally been busier than a bee.
“We get about three to five calls a day when the weather is warm,” said Dacy.
The weather is the reason for the swarms. After a long wet winter, the hives have been overcrowded, forcing the queen bee to leave the hive and other bees follow in a swarm.
Fully outfitted in beekeepers gear, Dacy marveled at the warmth as he handled the bees.
“They’re about 95 to 96 degrees Fahrenheit. <y hand feels like it’s in a bowl of warm water right now,” Dacy said.
The bees removed will be settled in an area of Sacramento where they can create a hive out of harm’s way for residents. That new life is at risk of being short lived. The rainy winter delayed the Almond Crop, which is the earliest food source for bees.
Daniel Schoenthal is a retired behavioral scientist who runs Blue Green Horizons. He also works with the Sacramento Area Beekeepers Association, which educates the public and promotes interests in the vital importance of bees.
“When 1.2 million hives don’t get fed because of rain, a lot of them die,” Schoenthal said.
Schoenthal spends his time working to restore the bee populations by tricking them into finding a food source by trapping. He says so far it’s working. As he surveyed the traps and hives on his Orangevale property he said, ” We fed them expecting the almond crop to be there this year”, they all get fed and the showed up all the rains kept the almond groves flat.
Schoenthal believes there is still work to be done to replenish the populations which are trying to regroup after years of battling drought and pesticides. There’s still a long way to go and we could be dealing with swarms for months to come as the warm weather continues.