Apiarist John Graham, of Bennie's Honey, coaxes bees into a
box after complaints regarding a swarm in George St,
Dunedin, yesterday afternoon. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
The Dunedin lunch-time swarm came with a sting in its
tail for inner-city pedestrians yesterday.
Calls from concerned pedestrians about a large swarm of bees
prompted the Dunedin City Council to call out John Graham, of
The nest was in a cherry tree on the site of the new Lone
Star restaurant in George St.
Bees could be seen flying around the pavement, and startling
Mr Graham said it was "swarm month at the moment", and this
had been amplified by the presence of varroa in the city.
The key to dealing with a swarm was to move the bees, and
particularly the queen, into a box - "once you have the
queen, then all the bees will go in there anyway".
Although no bees were harmed in the shift, Mr Graham sported
two stings for his troubles.
"I don't really notice any more, but one day I might have one
Mr Graham said bees were quite docile when swarming, as all
they wanted to do was stay with the queen.
"They want to stay with her and she has a very strong scent,
and I use air freshener to stop the scent of the queen
staying on the tree."
He estimated the hive, which had been sprayed for varroa,
contained between 8000-10,000 bees and could be producing
honey by Christmas.