It seems the honey industry is getting its fair share of “bees in the media” attention lately.
Hive theft is always a newsworthy topic albeit a serious one. Those who stoop to this crime should be dealt with suitably, (preferably with swift judgment by the hive occupants!) This problem is not always easy to prevent due to the fact that hives are usually on unoccupied land and therefore hard to secure.
We have also had several articles featuring swarms lately. These swarms are often spectacular and in very visible places. Recently, one was gathering in a Pukekohe shopping centre and also another near a day-care centre in Auckland. Swarms in urban areas are becoming more prevalent as more and more people take up the beekeeping hobby.
Then we have had beekeepers who park a truckload of hives in an urban area! This is very bad practice and NOT a good look for the industry. Recently in New Plymouth, this involved the dramatic rescue of an infant from a car. Bees escaped from a truck parked outside a hotel and covered the car with the baby inside! What about the beekeeper who parked his truckload of hives outside the library in Westport and went off to eat his lunch? This caused great consternation among the literary minds of the town, preventing them from entering their favourite spot. What these “beekeepers” were thinking, I don’t know!
Bee stings also feature in the news. In Marlborough a truck driver was stung while driving and had a bad reaction requiring his partner to take the wheel in order to prevent a serious accident. With the NZ Army in the area having to help out as well, it proved to be quite a story!
All in all “Bee Aware Month” has certainly done its job of raising the profile of our industry and bees are now the hot topic in the media!