The San Diego Padres probably didn’t earn themselves any new fans on Sunday when they opted to call an exterminator to rid the baseball field of a pesky bee swarm. But the act did outrage enough people to serve as a good public service reminder: Call a beekeeper to remove a swarm of bees, not an exterminator.
This was not handled humanely. These honeybees were killed by an extermination company instead of having a beekeeper come and remove them. @MLB please have each park have a beekeeper’s number on file for instances like this. https://t.co/Gmpdwu3eYj
— NYPD Bees (@NYPDBees) June 4, 2019
Look, I’m legit terrified of bees. Just ask my husband, my son, or anyone who has ever had the pleasure of sitting next to me during one of my kid’s soccer games. But the fear is my issue, not theirs. They’ve really done nothing to deserve it, and the bottom line is: We need bees. They pollinate plants, and the vast majority of plants need pollination in order to reproduce.
As the Planet Bee Foundation reports, bees help our crops grow and contribute pretty significantly to our economy:
Honey bees are among the most numerous and efficient pollinator species in the world. Considering that the average honey bee can visit more than 2,000 flowers in one day, these bees greatly increase the chances of a plant producing a fruit or vegetable.
Honey bees are the species most commonly used as commercial pollinators in the US. They are managed and used to pollinate over 100 crops grown in North America, and contribute $22 billion to the US economy every year. Many crops, such as almonds, which contribute $7 billion to the US industry each year, rely on honey bees for more than 90% of their pollination.
So as much of a momentary inconvenience as they might be, if they start to swarm in a place they shouldn’t be swarming, we don’t want to kill them. We want to remove them safely and relocate them to an apiary; Beekeepers with special bee vacuums can do this safely.
How does one find a beekeeper in one’s area? Beekeeping magazine “Bee Culture” has compiled a list of beekeepers in every state, and that list includes addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and sometimes even websites.
You can also try calling your local police department, which may have someone like NYPD’s Detective Anthony “Tony Bees” Planakis on hand to swoop in and save the day—and the bees.