Honeybee hive all the buzz on Schubert Drive
To bee or not to bee — that was the question for a Schubert Drive homeowner last week after a gigantic beehive, normally seen only in Mexico and California, was found hanging from a tree branch in her front yard.
“We didn’t know anything about it until the neighbour said something,” Debbie Kernote told KTW.
The neighbour emailed a local beekeeper and the Kamloops Beekeepers’ Club buzzed into action.
Ian Farber, a member of the club, said volunteers met at the house on Thursday, Sept. 20, and and removed the enormous hive.
“It was about 30 inches tall and about 20 to 25 inches across,” Farber said, describing the colony as “extremely gentle.
“Nobody got stung.”
The hive had been built on a branch in a tree on Kernote’s property.
Her neighbour spotted it after noticing honeycomb in his yard while cutting the lawn.
Farber, who has been keeping bees for 35 years, said he’s never seen anything like it.
Honeybees, he said, almost exclusively build their hives inside enclosed spaces — between walls or in hollowed-out trees — in climates where winters are cold.
But, the Schubert Drive bees, for whatever reason, decided to get tropical and set up shop in a tree.
“Maybe the weather changed,” Farber said.
“Maybe they swarmed on a warm day and then we got three or four days of rain, so they took the unusual step — something caused them to build outside.”
Farber, who ballparked the population of the colony as high as 30,000 bees, said such hives are commonplace in Mexico, California and Texas.
“But, not here,” he said. “This is very rare.”
Members of the Kamloops Beekeepers’ Club, wearing protective suits, cut away the branch on which the hive had been built and loaded the structure into a specially built carrying container.
The colony was taken to a bee yard in Barnhartvale.
Farber said club members initially thought they were dealing with a wasp nest and a mistaken neighbour.
“That’s always what it is with that type of call,” he said.
“But, we went to look and they were honeybees.”
Kernote wasn’t annoyed by the bees. In fact, she said, they were helping.
“Our flowers have done really great this year,” she said.
“They’re essential to polli nate our flowers and fruit, so it’s nice to have.”
But, according to Farber, the hive didn’t stand a chance exposed as it was in Kernote’s tree.
“It would have died in that tree,” he said.
“We’re trying to save the bees in this case.”