Nature’s ultimate food pollinators ready for warm temps

Bees look for new homes in abandoned hives and trees

Beekeeper Brian Lacy of Urban Bees & Gardens gathers bees from a hollowed-out tree trunk in Portland, May 2, 2017 (KOIN)
Beekeeper Brian Lacy of Urban Bees & Gardens gathers bees from a hollowed-out tree trunk in Portland, May 2, 2017 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Like most of us, bees are ready for the warm weather.

Bees — nature’s ultimate food pollinators — have hunkered down to endure the long, cold winter and cool, rainy spring by eating stored food and generating their own warmth. But with the temperatures expected to hit 80 on Wednesday, the bees are ready to come out of their hives.

Beekeeper Brian Lacy of Urban Bees & Gardens gathers bees from a hollowed-out tree trunk in Portland, May 2, 2017 (KOIN)
Beekeeper Brian Lacy of Urban Bees & Gardens gathers bees from a hollowed-out tree trunk in Portland, May 2, 2017 (KOIN)

“There are going to be a bunch of workers who will fly out with their queen in a huge cloud and they’ll land typically on a limb,” said beekeeper Brian Lacy with Urband Bees & Gardens. “They’ll debate and be in a search for good homes.”

For bees, a swarm is a celebration of survival and a new life cycle that begins. But for many people, swarming bees is an unwelcome sign of spring.

Bees look for new homes in abandoned hives and trees. Lacy spends a good deal of time every spring removing bees from places where they’re in much closer proximity to people.

Beekeeper Brian Lacy of Urban Bees & Gardens holds a fresh honeycomb, May 2, 2017 (KOIN)
Beekeeper Brian Lacy of Urban Bees & Gardens holds a fresh honeycomb, May 2, 2017 (KOIN)

“They will move into a hole in a house or a chimney. So anywhere where they’ve got 4 walls and a roof and a little bit of warmth, they’ll move into,” he told KOIN 6 News. “I’ve seen them build sheets of honeycomb right off the vertical wall of a chimney.”

Dandelions in particular and other flowering plants are the preferred food source for bees in early spring. Over-the-counter pesticide weed killers are still thought to play a role in bee colony collapse, Lacy said.

Beekeeper Brian Lacy of Urban Bees & Gardens gathers bees from a hollowed-out tree trunk in Portland, May 2, 2017 (KOIN)
Beekeeper Brian Lacy of Urban Bees & Gardens gathers bees from a hollowed-out tree trunk in Portland, May 2, 2017 (KOIN)