Beekeepers want your bees please

Posted

Fort Stockton is a land flowing with sweet tea and salsa, rather than a land flowing with milk and honey. However, the local bee population certainly has the honey part taken care of.

In fact, if you have honey bees that are constructing large wax nests in or around your building, there are beekeepers in the area who are ready and willing to corral them for you. You might even get some honeycomb after the bees are properly collected.

According to information provided by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office, the beekeeping industry in Texas generates $10.4 million annually. Agricultural crops pollinated by bees have a value of $40 billion.

Unfortunately, honey bees become unwelcome guests when they nest around homes, schools and businesses. Bees can construct large wax nests rapidly once they enter a home. For this reason, both bees and nests should be removed as soon as possible.

The job of collecting honey bees in or around a building should be left to skilled professionals. Professionals such as beekeepers who have the necessary tools and equipment to get the job done efficiently. Also, disturbing a honey bee nest without the proper know-how could lead to some painful stings. Aggravated honey bees will attack to defend their territory.

You cannot fool bees by playing dead, so they will continue they will continue the attack as long as you are in their territory. The best method is to flee and take shelter inside a car or house. A few bees may follow, but at least you are in safe distance from their war zone.

Alpine based beekeeper, Scott Wassermann, did his first bee removal here in Fort Stockton Friday, Jan 26. When the local honey bees stung his hand, he continued his work and said, “That’s just a part of the game.”

Wassermann considers himself a “bee rescuer and caretaker” and with the aid of his wife he oversees all operations of The Bee Wranch located in Alpine.

Reflecting on his first job here in town, Wassermann said, “Fort Stockton has nice bees. They seemed to be very calm bees, but this was only my first encounter. I’d be happy to have more and to keep your Fort Stockton bees here in Alpine. I got three or four stings while working in Stockton, but that’s about average in my line of work.”

When asked what he loved most about being a beekeeper, he said, “Bees are just fascinating to me. It’s always just my curiosity that keeps me passionate about doing this. It’s never the same twice. The bees are always different with each job that I take.”

Commenting on recruiting bee removal, he said, “If you have a major bee infestation in your home, it’s better to call a beekeeper than an exterminator. I’m not just saying that to bring myself business. Any of us beekeepers would be more than happy to help you, because exterminating the bees will just lead to additional problems. Having a beekeeper collect the bees will have the best long term results.”

Wassermann’s website details that extermination will often not eliminate the entire colony. For cases with bees infested within a building’s wall, the wall could end up containing thousands of dead (decaying) bees that will attract other pests to the site. With dead bees left behind, other colonies could possibly move in or other bees, rodents and insects will be attracted to the abandoned honeycombs. In worse case scenarios, you may even have honey leak into your living space.

“The honeycombs I removed in Fort Stockton were an average size. A little on the small side, but I’m sure there’s some pretty big ones in the town that I haven’t seen. I just need an invitation and I’ll come back down,” said Wassermann.

For more information, Wassermann has many helpful links on his website thebeewranch.com. To inquire removal services with The Bee Wranch, call Scott Wassermann at 432-837-7345 or 432-294-9380.

Comments