‘It was fascinating’ | News for Fenton, Linden, Holly MI

A family in Fenton Township watched in fascination as a skilled and patient beekeeper labored for over an hour to round up a swarm of honey bees who decided to make a tree in their garden their home.

On the morning of Monday, July 5, Melanie and Scott McPeake saw what they described as a 10-foot-tall black tornado in their backyard. They watched this large swarm fly through their yard, eventually settling on a tree. They were so surprised by the experience that they forgot to take pictures at first.

They soon realized that they were observing thousands and thousands of honey bees. Not knowing much more than the importance of honey bees to the world, Melanie said Scott started looking online for a beekeeper to safely remove the swarm. He called several beekeepers and one from the Dexter area was available to drive to their home.

Melanie said all beekeepers were eager to remove and move the honey bees, however, only the morning one was available. She said they were all delighted with the news and that there would be no charge to go out.

The beekeeper they contacted was at their house at 10:30 am She said they were mesmerized and watched for over an hour as the beekeeper gently brushed the bees in a box, hoping the queen bees would succeed. If the queen bee has not been brushed in the box, the other bees escape and return to their queen.

Eventually, the beekeeper managed to get the queen bee into the box and the other bees, as expected, swarmed into the box.

“It was really something to watch,” Melanie said. “It was fascinating.”

Melanie said the beekeeper worked with bare hands at first, but eventually put on gloves. She said it didn’t look like he had ever been stung by bees. She added that the beekeeper was happy to take the bees to another beekeeper to replenish the ones they had lost.

Honey bees are big money producers for American agriculture. These social and worker insects produce six beehive products – honey, pollen, royal jelly, beeswax, propolis and venom – all collected and used by humans for various nutritional and medicinal purposes.

But the greater importance of honey bees to agriculture is not a product of the hive at all. It is their job as crop pollinators. This agricultural benefit of honey bees is estimated to be between 10 and 20 times the total value of honey and beeswax. In fact, bee pollination accounts for around $ 15 billion in added value to crops. Honey bees are like dollar bills flying over the American crops.

Honey bees are vegetarians. The nectar and pollen collected from flowering plants are the entrees on their plates. The bees collect the nectar and turn the sweet liquid into honey, the main source of carbohydrates for insects. Honey provides bees with energy for flight, colony maintenance, and general daily activities.

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