UA beequeaths its recent swarm to local beekeeper

By Michelle Roberts

Arizona Daily Wildcat

A big, brown bucket bound bunches of buzzing bees behind a campus building yesterday.

A beekeeper was called out to handle a swarm of bees behind the Education Building on Second Street, next to the Delta Gamma sorority house.

When the bees were spotted around 1 p.m., employees from UA Grounds and Labor called a beekeeper.

Frederic Miracle came to the scene and placed a trap in the tree to attract the bees.

The trap, a brown, fibrous bucket with a lid on top and a hole in the bottom, contained the scent of a scout bee. This attracts the bees and entices them inside, said Ron Underhill of Grounds and Labor.

Miracle, a beekeeper from Miracle Bee Service, said that it was a small swarm, containing only 5,000 to 10,000 bees.

The majority of the bees were caught in a couple of hours. Miracle removed the first trap and then placed another one in the tree to collect the rest overnight.

Miracle said he usually assumes the bees are European honey bees, not the infamous Africanized "killer" bees.

After capturing bees, he said he takes them to one of his hive locations in the desert and replaces the queen with a European queen. He does this just to be sure that the bees are honey-producing.

Miracle uses the bees to fertilize crops and produce honey throughout the year.

The bees are very important for the fertilization of crops, said Janine Corbin of Grounds and Labor.

She said yesterday's call was at least the fifteenth they have received this year. There are not necessarily more bees this year, Corbin said, they are just getting more calls, since Africanized bees have been spotted in the state.

Read Next Article