Leave swarms alone, says Vernon urban beekeeper

A Vernon urban beekeeper of seven years, Dawn Tucker, is reminding neighbours to leave swarms alone as bees look to re-home. (Dawn Tucker)A Vernon urban beekeeper of seven years, Dawn Tucker, is reminding neighbours to leave swarms alone as bees look to re-home. (Dawn Tucker)
A Vernon urban beekeeper of seven years, Dawn Tucker, is reminding neighbours to leave swarms alone as bees look to re-home. (Dawn Tucker)A Vernon urban beekeeper of seven years, Dawn Tucker, is reminding neighbours to leave swarms alone as bees look to re-home. (Dawn Tucker)
A Vernon urban beekeeper of seven years, Dawn Tucker, is reminding neighbours to leave swarms alone as bees look to re-home. (Dawn Tucker)A Vernon urban beekeeper of seven years, Dawn Tucker, is reminding neighbours to leave swarms alone as bees look to re-home. (Dawn Tucker)
A Vernon urban beekeeper of seven years, Dawn Tucker, is reminding neighbours to leave swarms alone as bees look to re-home. (Dawn Tucker)A Vernon urban beekeeper of seven years, Dawn Tucker, is reminding neighbours to leave swarms alone as bees look to re-home. (Dawn Tucker)

One Vernon beekeeper said ‘tis the season for bee swarms, but residents need not bee afraid.

Dawn Tucker, a Vernon urban beekeeper who just celebrated her bee anniversary, said she will travel to Vernon, Kelowna and Salmon Arm to help people remove swarms.

Swarms of bees can be found on low-hanging branches, fences, trees and even on cars, Tucker said.

“All of a sudden, you will see a cloud of bees and hear a loud buzz,” she said. “They’ll land and just sit there for a while as they send out little scout bees — they’re looking for a new place to call home.”

Location and weather may affect how long the swarm stays put, she said, noting the Okanagan may be a bit behind schedule due to weather.

Often swarms happen when a colony can’t return the its home or if it gets too big. In that case, the colony will split leaving behind a new, younger queen, while the older queen moves on with her half of the colony.

“It’s important for us to leave bees,” Tucker said, who spearheaded the changing of the City of Vernon’s bylaw to allow for urban beekeeping about a year ago. “They are a good part of pollination and our food cycle.”

Landscaping can be made conducive to aid in bee populations, which in turn assists with pollination and crop outcomes.

“Planting nice flowers and putting out little water sources for bees,” she offered as examples of ways people can help.

People don’t need to be afraid, Tucker said.

“Don’t hurt them, they’re not going to hurt you,” Tucker said. “This is a natural process that tends to occur.”

Bees are most docile when they swarm, Tucker said. They are just trying to find a new place to call home while working to protect their queen in the move.

“They’re not jerks like wasps,” Tucker said.

Unlike their pesky doppelgangers, bees will only sting as a form of defence, she explained, noting they die after they sting once.

“The reality is, bees want to do their thing and if left alone, they’ll do it,” she said.

If residents find a swarm, Tucker said just leave it be, but if it’s an issue, call a local beekeeper, like herself, or a local swarm collector.

“Bee keepers are always wanting to come out and get free bees,” she said.

Tucker said she will arrive to a site, assess the situation and determine the best way to make a catch.

Typically, Tucker will suit up and brush the bees into a box.

“Once you get the queen, the rest will follow,” she said.

Individuals looking to have a swarm removed can contact Tucker at 250-549-9615.

“It’s a good thing to remember that bees are our friends.”

READ MORE: COVID-19: Some North Okanagan golf courses opening

READ MORE: Bigfoot? Footprint near Lumby examined

Nature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The organizer of a Kelowna protest against COVID-19 restrictions was fined by the RCMP for the third time Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19: Organizer of Kelowna anti-restriction protest ticketed for third time

The individual’s latest ticket for $2,300 was handed out by RCMP at an anti-lockdown rally Saturday

Mount Boucherie Secondary School is one of three Kelowna schools with confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to an update from the school district Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19 confirmed at 3 Kelowna schools

Interior Health has confirmed exposures at Mount Boucherie, Springvalley and South Rutland schools

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

City of Vernon crews are responding to a small sinkhole on Lakeshore Road in Vernon Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (Contributed)
Sinkhole slows Vernon traffic

Lakeshore Road has been reduced to single-lane alternating traffic Saturday

A map released by the BCCDC on Jan. 15 shows the number of new COVID-19 cases reported for each local health area between Jan. 3 and 9. (BCCDC Image)
Salmon Arm and Vernon see increase in new COVID cases, curve flattening elsewhere

The rate of new cases is levelling off in Kelowna, Penticton and Revelstoke.

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Half of the most expensive homes are on 2080 Mackenzie Crt, which is across the street from Revelstoke Mountain Resort. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
The 10 most valuable homes in Revelstoke for 2020

Combined, the properties are worth more than $35M

Lake Country native Evan-Riley Brown is in the cast for the new film Journey To Royal: A WW II Rescue Mission to be released on video on demand and streaming services on Feb. 2. (Contributed)
Okanagan actor lands role in WW II movie

Evan-Riley Brown, from Lake Country, cast in production labelled as hybrid of a feature film and documentary called Journey To Royal: a WW II Rescue Mission.

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
More than 20 days have passed since the last case of COVID-19 was confirmed at Lakeside Manor. (File photo)
Salmon Arm retirement facility reopens social areas after COVID-19

More than 20 days have passed since last confirmed case at Lakeside Manor

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Most Read