Swarms of bees occur between May and July. This is the time when the swarms look for a new home and breed. Before this shelter is found, the bees often congregate in a “bundle”.
This usually happens in a bush, eave, lamppost, or on a tree. It takes a few days before the group of bees continues to search for a nesting site.
In the starting blocks
However, a swarm of bees in a backyard makes most Zeelanders feel insecure. This is why beekeepers are called. Eric Mahieu is such a beekeeper, he is on the starting blocks every morning, in case his phone rings and he has to go out.
As expected, his phone rings five minutes later and he is expected in a Middelburg backyard. “During those months, I sometimes get 15 calls a day,” says Mahieu, laughing. “People often don’t know what to do with bunches of bees and then they call me.”
The queen is the most important
Once in Middelburg’s backyard, Mahieu immediately sees the group of bees hanging down. To make the bees fall into the basket, he shakes the tree where the farm hangs. Above all, the queen of the bee swarm ends up in Eric’s basket.
“Then the other bees will follow,” he explains. “Sometimes it can take up to a few hours before all the bees are in and I can take them with me. So often I come back in the evening.”
‘Leave it to us’
According to Mahieu, this is exactly the intention. “Bees are generally very gentle, but you shouldn’t shovel them yourself,” he says. “We have a lot of beekeepers in Zeeland, so leave it to us. “