Successful Spring For Bees In Grayson County - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Successful Spring For Bees In Grayson County

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GRAYSON COUNTY, TX  -- The start of summer means bee season will soon be winding down. But it's been an eventful year for the insects, which seem to be more plentiful than years past.

With a good amount of rain, things are blooming in Texoma, and bees seem to be increasing in numbers. There's a certain time when homeowners often see them, and that's when they sometimes call for help.

Imagine seeing a birdhouse in your yard filled with bees. It happened to a homeowner near Sherman. Around the county, swarms have been keeping a few beekeepers busy.

"In the last two months, I've got 30 swarm calls. This has been an excellent year for wild bees," says beekeeper Charles Adams.

While some commercial beekeepers battle "colony collapse disorder," wild bees seem to be on a roll. Unlike previous years with drought, the flowers are out and so are bees that pollinate them. When a queen leaves the hive splits, creating the swarm.

"The swarms are typically not aggressive, but you still don't want to get close to them. If you'll wait a day or two, you'll see that they'll actually fly off and leave. They're just looking for a new site," says Agrilife extension agent Chuck Jones.

But what if the bees decide to make their home, in yours? "If there's any kind of gap in the eave of your house, I've been getting a lot of them out of eaves this year, to a gap where they'll crawl inside of it and then the workers start building comb," says Adams.

"It's increased more this year than last year or the year before," says beekeeper Randy McGill.

While many people might be frightened by bees and the idea of getting stung, McGill says that after more than 10 years working with them and their honey, he has learned they can be very fascinating creatures.

"A queen bee can lay up to about 2,000 eggs a day, so they can go from small numbers to large numbers in a short amount of time," says McGill.

The worker bees may only live a month. Still, tens of thousands of bees often make up a single hive. McGill says his hobby started when he found a hive by his water meter. Now, he takes bees off other people's hands and keeps hives in a field near his home and with friends.

"I keep all the bees that I collect. I have bees all over Grayson County," says McGill.

Beekeeping is not for everyone. Adams, a former exterminator from Tom Bean, says last season he was once stung 30 times, and he knows because he picked all the stingers out.

One predator of bees is skunks. Their fur can protect them from the stings.