Dear residents of Vancouver: Please stop putting beehives in your backyards.
Thanks to a worldwide honeybee shortage, many residents and organizations have taken up the practice of amateur beekeeping. Heck, even the Vancouver Police have a hive on their roof. And while these folks certainly mean well, you could say that they’re now feeling the sting of the job — sometimes literally.
You see, the problem is that these amateur beekeepers often try to grow their colonies too quickly, which eventually prompts the queen to takeoff in search of a larger hive. When she goes, half the colony goes with her. This means entire swarms of bees are descending on Vancouver looking for a place to nest.
“When there’s a cloud moving through the air it almost darkens the sky,” said Bill Picha, founder of Bill’z Bees.
Picha has been on the front lines in the battle to get those rogue insects back into proper hives. Needless to say, his phone has been abuzz with calls.
“It’s just seven days a week, answer the phone, go get a swarm,” he said.
While he normally deals with about 100 swarms a year, Picha believes he’ll be looking at closer to 150 for 2016. Fortunately, because there are so many beekeepers looking to expand, Picha never has a hard time finding a new home for them.
If you happen to see a colony yourself, call in a professional beekeeper to have them removed. You can see just how large these swarms are getting in the video above.