Why bee extermination is not a solution
Article by Richard J Jackson
Most people’s knee-jerk reaction is bee extermination when their homes are invaded by a swarm of bees. This generally negative reaction towards bees appears a product of some misperceptions fostered in the mass media, particular those in thriller movies depicting bees as villains out to decimate one town or another. While it is true that people and bees, in general, do not make for an ideal mix, these insects bring more benefits than damage to humans.
Bees are useful to man in helping the preservation of the ecological balance. Most importantly, they pollinate flowers of food crops that are estimated to consist of one-third of our food supply. With the extinction threat on certain species of bees, some plant species will be likewise be threatened with extinction, like the case of the yellow-faced Hawaiian bee which is important in the pollination of plants in the Hawaii islands.
Some bee species, particularly the European variety, are also direct food sources with the honey that they produce. Good for the health, honey is not the only benefit that could be directly obtained from bees. These useful insects also produce beeswax, where thousands of eggs of a colony’s queen bee are deposited for hatching and where honey is stored in each egg chamber for the bee larvae’s nourishment. The beeswax deposits from bee colonies are collected for use in cosmetics and in the pharmaceuticals industry. Beeswax can also be used as a raw material for candles.
With the many benefits that bees bring, bee extermination is clearly not the solution if these insects stray into homes or populated areas. Extermination, in the first place, usually entails the use of pesticides which could do collateral damage to homes in particular and the environment in general.
What then is the best approach when a colony of bees settles into a home or within a homeowners’ property? One immediate measure is to immediately isolate the bees’ invaded area if possible, and leave the insects alone and ensure that they are not antagonized.
Then the homeowner or caretaker can call some professional beekeepers or commercial outfits specializing in bee rescue and removal. Many of these professional help are listed in the phone directory or maintain websites with their direct phone lines to facilitate easy and instant communication.
The ideal bee professional rescuers to call are those who employ natural techniques in their trade. They are those who may use non-toxic smoke but never pesticides as it has been mentioned earlier, bee extermination is not the solution. What these guys usually do is relocate the bees to a habitat more appropriate for these insects, such as a fruit orchard or forests away from human habitation. Of course, it would be virtually impossible for these bee rescuers to capture the bees one by one. These professionals in bee rescue usually trap the queen and some of her colony workers in a box with holes. The other members of the bee colony follow inside the box after some time and the whole gang is then moved to an area where they are unlikely to be a disturbance but a boon to humans.
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