This summer started slow, and so did swarm season. I am usually ready by May to keep an eye on my emails, yet with our weather this year it caused a 1 month delay in temperatures, flowering and consequently swarming. By the end of June we saw activity. I keep all the emails from folks frantic and calm alike, asking for advice on what to do to downright rude demands that we service their needs that day. I always ask for photo i.d. of the swarm in question, since most people confuse swarms with nests and are always claiming they’ve spotted the queen (?) therefore it has to be ‘bees’ (?). Photos don’t lie, though, and it keeps beekeepers from responding to false alarms.
I have trolled back through my list and here is the score:
5 honeybee swarms (Mount Albert, Caledon, Toronto, Brampton and Richmond Hill) 2 flew off before they could be collected.
10 wasp nests (Mississauga, Woodbridge, Etobicoke, Caledon and Brampton)
3 bumblebee nests (Brampton and Burlington)
3 unknown due to lack of pictures (Brampton)
Hmm. The wasps are winning. Not many swarms of honeybees.
For the species that were not honeybees I advised as best I could on what to do about them, especially bumblebees as they are gentle, social and also a declining pollinator species. We do not deal with non-honeybee species (I had to repeat that a lot) and it is clear I need to tweak the webpages to further clarify the BBAs role and purpose so the public is not misled into thinking we are a free pest control company.
I am happy to do that, and to try and continue to further educate the public on who’s who and what’s what. The less confusion the better.