The demise of honeybees across North America and Europe has been the focus of many biologists for the past two years in particular, as researchers further connect the industrious insects to plant health and reproduction.
News reporter Andrea Peacock spent an afternoon at the district’s newest bee colony, or apiary – installed at the community garden near the University of Victoria on McKenzie Avenue – where she discovered beekeepers frequently battle public stigma around the likelihood of beestings.
Bee allergies are rightfully a primary concern when considering the location of a new colony, but the insects are much more content to go about their business than sting passersby.
It’s encouraging to see the likes of Barry Denluck, who provides relocation services to beehives at no cost to flustered homeowners with his relative immunity to stings.
Other organizations with expert knowledge in beekeeping include the Capital Region Beekeepers Association, LifeCycles Project Society and the Greater Victoria Compost Education Centre. If their staff can’t provide the answers you need, they’re certainly willing to reach out to people who can on your behalf.
Introducing kids to beekeeping at an early age can also help diffuse the fear around bee behaviour.
So next time you notice a buzzing insect near your patio furniture, take a moment to identify it. If it’s a honeybee, bumblebee or other non-carnivorous creature, let it be.
This editorial appeared in the July 18 edition of Saanich News.