iN VIDEO: Honey bee swarm rescued on Okanagan Rail Trail in Kelowna | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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iN VIDEO: Honey bee swarm rescued on Okanagan Rail Trail in Kelowna

Kelowna beekeeper Robyn Bofy (right) collects a swarm of honey bees on the Okanagan Rail Trail in Kelowna, while her daughter watches.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Robyn Bofy

A beekeeper was called to a section of the Okanagan Rail Trail in Kelowna this week to gather up a swarm of bees that were getting squished by cyclists.

Robyn Bofy was alerted of the swarm through a friend who saw a post about it on social media, and immediately went to the site near Sexsmith Road and donned her beekeeper gear.

“You have to move quickly before they fly away,” Bofy said. “It was odd they were on the ground, usually they are on the branch or on a fence pole.”

There wasn’t much of a crowd but lots of cyclist were going by so Bofy called a friend who works on a community safety unit to do traffic control while she located the queen bee and got it into a small bee box called a nuc.

“You can find the queen because the bees around her do a sort of little dance, so I dug through the bees and found her,” she said. “Once I get her into the box the rest of the bees follow.”

There was wax, pollen and honey inside the nuc box to help lure the swarm inside. Once the swarm was collected, Bofy took them to her acreage and moved them into a bigger bee box, adding to the ten bee boxes she already manages.

Days later, the new hive is thriving.

“There’s always a chance they’ll swarm again, but they’re in the hive, happy and making themselves at home.”

READ MORE: Threatened turtles on their way to lay eggs crushed by cars in Kamloops, Okanagan

Bofy said bees can swarm for different reasons including not liking their location or needing a new queen. Anyone who comes across a swarm can reach out to local beekeepers to collect and house them.

“Honey bees are very important to the ecosystem and beekeepers love to collect them.”

Bofy makes and sells bee wax candles and honey at Alpine Acres Farm.

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