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Bee swarms blamed on amateur beekeepers

16 Jul 2012, 10:20

Published: 16 Jul 2012 10:20 GMT+02:00

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More and more people in Sweden are jumping at the chance to own a beehive, despite not knowing exactly how to control their hum, leading to swarms of bees taking over Stockholm at the weekend.

“Many new keepers haven’t thought of it. They think that the swarming season is over and so they go on holiday without providing the controlled supervision they should be,” said Karolina Lisslö of hive management firm Bee Urban to the TT news agency.

On Friday afternoon, shoppers and pedestrians were terrorized for three hours after one cluster of bees made a make-shift nest on the windows of the H&M headquarters in downtown Stockholm.

The bee-plague continued on Saturday when Södermalm pedestrians felt the sting as a second hum caused chaos in a neighbourhood in Stockholm's southern district.

Bee Urban, a company that leases and manages 27 bee hives around the capital, claims that their bees have not been responsible for the weekend swarms.

“We have frequent and regular inspections and our queens have their wings clipped,” she said.

When the hives become crowded, the bees choose a new queen and when she hatches, the old queen leaves the hive along with 3,000-5,000 bees in search of a new home.

When experienced bee breeders notice traces of a queen cell, they can divide the colony in order to avoid swarms.

Story continues below…

“We make an artificial swarm and add a queen with clipped wings. We don’t want to get the call saying that there’s a swarm in the NK clock,” she told TT, referring to the landmark timepiece that towers 25 metres above central Stockholm.

TT/The Local/og


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Your comments about this article

11:13 July 16, 2012 by skogsbo
sounds like this guy is trying to gain some attention. Once a beehine has it in it's head it wants to swarm it is all but impossible to prevent it, even by artificial swarming. He would need to be checking his hives very frequently to prevent it. I suspect he visit them once a week at best.

Beside, the bees are harmless, no one was actually stung? They are not out to harm people, hunt them down, bees much prefer flowers. So no one was actually terrorised. They are only looking for a new home and a beekeeper somewhere, novice or expert has lost some of their bees and learnt a lesson worth between 1-2000kr.

The only thing highlighted here are peoples phobias and complete lack of knowledge.
13:28 July 16, 2012 by William Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha
That's what I thought too. When bees are swarming they are 100% focused on finding a new home. Way to busy to bother with humans.

Wasps on the other hand ... evil buggers.
06:47 July 17, 2012 by Ian C. Purdie - Sydney
DIY Bee Keepers?

Now why isn't that a surprise?

DIY many things are an absolute menace. Try growing grapes in my district and they'll almost take a contract out on you. Utterly irresponsible DIY'ers can potentially put at risk $billions in wine crops.
07:23 July 17, 2012 by skogsbo
Ian, everyone is DIY beekeepers, only bees are really keepers, everyone else is just playing at it!

Why would someone else growing grapes put at risk a whole industry?
00:01 July 18, 2012 by Ian C. Purdie - Sydney
"Why would someone else growing grapes put at risk a whole industry?"

Mainly because of improper or non-existent disease control which means professionals have to take more extensive and expensive methods which in turn creates problems for the "organically grown people"

It's quite complicated but very real. Same applies to stone fruit orchards.
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