Beekeepers busy with hundreds of swarms

KUSA - Colorado residents may have noticed an abundance of bees around their houses and cars as of late. Beekeepers have noticed in the influx too.

Sonja Sutton didn't know what to think when she found a swarm of bees on the side of her home.

"Yeah, I was terribly freaked out, and I called the exterminator right away for fear of bees," Sutton said. "I wasn't sure if they were killer bees or what."

A neighbor talked Sutton into calling a beekeeper.

Gregg McMahan has nerves of steel. He's captured bees hundreds of times. He still gets stung at least half-a-dozen times, but he never misses the queen - which is key to the operation. When the queen goes into the hive box, the other bees faithfully follow.

"They're only worried about that queen in there," McMahan said. "They want to keep her warm, keep her fed, [and[ take care of her until we find that new house location to go to."

Swarms have been turning up all over Colorado. Beekeepers are calling 2014 the most active bee season in Colorado in recent memory. In April, thousands of new queens were born. Thus, thousands of new swarms were springing up this spring.

It's a huge plus for the environment and for professional beekeepers who collect and protect one of nature's most complex insects.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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