Beekeepers Protect While Valuing Role Of Bees

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Beekeepers Protect While Valuing Role Of Bees

The team of R9 Hive & Honey in action tries to locate the hive inside the wall of a garage in Primera.
The team of R9 Hive & Honey in action tries to locate the hive inside the wall of a garage in Primera.

The Rio Grande Valley is facing the double whammy with the 2020 hurricane season and the continuing pandemic as the region heads into the fall months. Area residents shouldn’t let their guard down to other factors that could impact their lives. Bee swarms are an example of that.

These flying insects can appear unexpectedly either ganged up on the limb of one’s favorite backyard tree. They can be crawling up and down, or flying in and out of the side of a house of an unnoticed crack or hole.

So who are you going to call whenever you run into such situations? Call R9 Hive & Honey.

The Lyford-based service can take care of bee issues a business or homeowner might have. Their services include either by removal of a hive whenever possible or by eliminating the problem once and for all.

The two-person team is made of Julie Ewing and Brandon Jolley. They have been responding to calls from people worried about the presence of bees whether they be honey bees or the more aggressive Africanized type.

“Things have been kind of slow now but everything else is like that today,” Ewing said during a recent bee removal job. “We have been responding to fewer calls now compared to an average of four a month last year.”

Glenn Simpson, a Brownsville beekeeper, with tools he uses to extract bees.
Glenn Simpson, a Brownsville beekeeper, with tools he uses to extract bees.

Recognizing The Importance Of Pollinators 

She said R9 Hive & Bee specializes in removing a hive and relocating it to areas away from populated places so the bees can pollinate plants and crops. Their business belongs to the Coastal Bend Beekeepers Association. The Corpus Christi-based organization has more than 800 bee enthusiasts.

Glenn Simpson, a CBBA member, said bees play a good role in the production of food. Unfortunately, he added, their population has been declining due to urban growth and the use of pesticide.

Simpson said bee removal should be done by people who know about the insects. Most people call their nearest fire department when the job of a firefighter is not meant to fight bees. Simpson said bees can be removed by using a type of air vacuum that sucks up the insects and into a container lined with cells for the bees to go in.

Also, wearing a bee suit is a must as these insects become more aggressive when disturbed. Bees have various ways of communicating such as through pheromones and dances.

Pheromones are mixtures of chemical substances released by bees into a hive or the environment that cause changes in their behavior. This can happen whenever bees are attacked or feel threatened. Bees also communicate through dances or by circling or wiggling to determine distance to forage. Simpson said bees usually attack because they feel threatened.

“They do so to protect themselves, their family and their home,” he said. “Wouldn’t you do the same?”

He also says if a person encounters a swarm of bees, he or she should approach them from the side, not up front. People are familiar with bee stings, but they should realize bees are crucial to the production of food humans consume. They pollinate crops from one place to another.

Anyone having any issues with bees can seek assistance from R9 Hive & Honey by contacting them at 956-746-1799 or r9hivehoney@gmail.com.

Bees come out of a hole on a wall.
Bees come out of a hole on a wall.

Freelance journalist Tony Vindell has more than 30 years experience as a newspaper reporter. Born in Nicaragua, he studied journalism and political science at the University of Missouri-Columbia and at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo. He began his career working for The Pecos Enterprise in West Texas. Vindell also worked for The Laredo News, The Brownsville Herald, Valley Morning Star, Port Isabel News Press and the Raymondville Chronicle/News. Vindell, who lives in Brownsville with his wife Sharon, enjoys hunting, fishing and traveling.

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