Friedberg: Friedberg and Meringe beekeeping associations are helping to alert the swarm

Nobody wants a swarm of bees in their garden. At this time of year, this can definitely happen. The beekeeping associations Mering and Friedberg provide assistance.

Bees fly actively into the teaching apiary Friedberg through the air. Karl-Heinz Waldmüller of the Friedberg Beekeeping Association and Herbert Rappel of the Beekeeping Association meringue Monitor insect activities. In fact, large groups of bees can only be found near their hive. Sometimes you can also spot them as grapes in your own garden or when you go for a walk. Then a swarm of bees. In order to safely catch animals, both beekeeping associations offer a “swarm service”.

The initiator of the show is Herbert Rabel. He is himself a “passionate beekeeper” and owns about 90 bee colonies. The Meringer explains why bees reproduce in the first place: “It’s the natural form of reproduction.” The bee colonies divide, the old queen bee leaves the hive with some other bees. Thousands of bees buzz in the air and finally gather in a dark mass on a garden fence, a tree or, in extreme cases, in a car wheel well.

Swarm group hanging on a tree.

Pictured: Herbert Rabel

Beekeepers rush to help

At the same time, the so-called track bees begin to search for a suitable new home. “They then dance over the swarm of grapes and try to convince them of the place of their choice,” adds Karl-Heinz Waldmüller, president of the Friedberg Beekeepers Association. Once the swarm has settled, it breaks up again into individual bees. These then move to their designated place of residence, for example a hollow tree or chimney. In general, according to Rabel, this swarming process can occur two or three times a year.

Experienced beekeepers usually recognize when bees are about to swarm and can artificially control the process. However, from time to time, a swarm can go unnoticed. In addition, there are more and more people who keep bee colonies privately and have no experience in dealing with swarms.

Swarm notification in Mering and Friedberg via code

If you notice a hanging swarm of bees, you can turn to professional help from the Meering Beekeepers Association and the Friedberg Beekeepers Association in the form of a swarm service. The site of the bee group is entered with an icon on the corresponding website of the association. You also provide your contact details. “The next beekeeper is notified by SMS,” explains Rappel. This will connect to the swarm detector. The escaped bees are then offered an alternative place to live in a box that serves as an artificial hollow space and at best smells of bees and wax, and they nest there. After the successful transfer, the contact details of the reporter will be deleted.

It should be noted, however, that bee experts can only help if the bees are in a cluster. Once they have decided on a house, divided them into individual animals and moved to their new place of residence, it is impossible for beekeepers to catch them as well.

Breeding bees are captured by an experienced beekeeper.

Pictured: Herbert Rabel

In order to facilitate the work of volunteers, other factors must also be taken into account. It is important to determine the size of the swarm mass. “It should be about the size of a football,” Waldmüller says. Accessibility is also important, bees usually want the entrance hole to be about five meters high. “It’s good to know if you can get to the swarm and if there is a ladder,” Waldmüller continues. Bees are often confused with wasps. Waldmüller comments sarcastically: “Since Maya the bee, all bees have been black and yellow.” These actually have a black base color with gray streaks on the abdomen. On the other hand, in wasp, all three body parts i.e. head, thorax and abdomen are yellow-black. The time period also serves to distinguish: swarms of bees can be found in May-June, starting in September, the question is about wasp nests.

You must learn how to deal with bees

This year it has been a little quieter in terms of swarm reports. “So far there have been six reports of swarms, and last year there were twenty,” says Rabel. “Sometimes we surprise ourselves with the number of bees in one year and the small number of bees in the next,” Waldmüller adds. However, the number of bee colonies has remained constant over time. Only the number of beekeepers increased. Beekeeping is increasingly becoming a leisure activity these days. Waldmüller and Rabel know: “It has become a trend to support nature.”

Before you start your own bee colony, you can participate in the beekeeping courses offered by the two associations. With shows like the “Bee Essence Test” in Friedberg, for example, you’ll basically learn how to deal with bees within 14 events. And anyone who is afraid of insect stings can rest assured: bees sting less than they did in the 1960s. “Breeding made them more malleable,” concludes Rabel.

Leave a Comment