Letter to the Editor

Watch for honeybee clusters

We are in the middle of the swarming season for honeybees. Do not be surprised to walk out your front door to see a large cluster of bees, about the size of a gallon milk jug, hanging from your rosebush, mailbox or small tree. There's no need to be alarmed. Clusters of honeybees are not normally defensive or aggressive. It is highly unlikely they are "African" killer bees. This big, blackish ball of bees has just left their original hive in search of a new home. If left alone, they will eventually leave, though the time for their departure may be 20 minutes or up to a week. If you feel threatened, call the Missouri Department of Conservation (290-5218) or your local law enforcement agency, and they will put you in touch with any one of a dozen beekeepers in our area that will gladly come and remove the swarm. Do not spray the swarm with insecticides or diesel fuel. And for heaven's sake do not spray the swarm and expect a beekeeper to come get the survivors. The honeybee population is under a continued threat, and our food supply greatly benefits from the pollination. They need all the help we can give them.