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LETTER: Bees just doing what comes naturally

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To the Editor:

If spring-time should finally arrive, honey bee colonies start to build-up their numbers and if they run out of space in their hive, they swarm.

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The public should not be alarmed if they see or come across a swarm of honey bees. They are doing what honey bees do and are not remotely interested in humans. In fact before leaving their hive the bees fill up their stomachs with honey and are rather mellow; their sole intention is to find a new home to build-up a new colony.

With honey bee numbers under threat we can ill afford to lose swarms; beekeepers are anxious to collect them and give them a new home in one of their empty hives. Swarms left uncollected are unlikely to survive, which means lost honey production but even more importantly, fewer of these hard working insects to pollinate crops, including our favorite fruits and vegetables.

The public can help by contacting a beekeeper through the St. Croix Valley Beekeepers Association's web site: http://stcroixbeekeepers.org, then click on "Services," and go to "Swarm Removal" and scroll down to members listed. This news release should be passed on to fire departments, local and state police departments, school districts, and to anyone I forgot to mention. Thank you for your assistance!

Paul VanDenMeerendonk

Hudson

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