Bees are very important as pollinators to our environment so the more we can do to save them, the better! -- Gene
Group moves hives, raises awareness
Broward Beekeepers Association members recently relocated hives from two homes. (Submitted photo)
By Randy Abraham, Sun-Sentinel
Homeowners who recently discovered an unwanted beehive got a chance to see the Broward Beekeepers Association in action.
The group was called out to remove a beehive in Pompano Beach resident Pamela Conner's black olive tree. They also removed and relocated a hive found in Fort Lauderdale resident Susan James' backyard shed where she stored her hurricane shutters.
"It was like watching a hazmat (hazardous materials) team spring into action," said James, describing her reaction when group members, dressed in protective suits, gloves and head coverings, came to remove the beehive.
Beekeeping has become marginalized as society has become more urbanized, but with the changing of the seasons, some members hope the timing is right for their message.
"Spring is coming, and it's important for people to know who to contact" should they discover a beehive, said group member Dara Kustler. "The bees pollinate and are important for the survival of mankind. … So we are here to educate Broward County residents, and we hope that we can become a leading county for bee preservation and protection through our efforts and outreach. … Most bee colonies can be rescued and relocated and will survive and thrive."
Member Dan Novak added, "The most important things that bees do is pollinate. Pollination is needed for plants to reproduce. Bees pollinate at least 80 percent of the food crops we rely on. And this is the reproductive season when they multiply."
The group, which has 66 members, wants to raise awareness of bees' role in the environment and the production of plants and food. Members have spoken about their activities at schools, libraries and the Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale.
They bring the rescued hives to an apiary — a place for beehives —in a vacant lot in Coconut Creek. That site was recently rezoned and sold to a firm that seeks to develop the property, and the group is hoping to find a new site to place their apiary.
Conner said she was surprised to learn about bees and is grateful she did not hire an exterminator.
"We wouldn't have food if it weren't for bees. Exterminating them should only be done as a last resort," she said.
For more information, visit Browardbees.org.