Stung over bee story

Juan Nunez, catcher for the Ports, dives to the ground to avoid a swarm of bees. Photo courtesy of Sean Kahler

Update: Here’s a list of local beekeepers who will remove swarms, compiled by the county agricultural commissioner.

Four people called Tuesday to complain about the apparent extermination of that swarm of bees which descended on the Stockton Ballpark during a Ports game over the weekend.

To recap: Said 20,000 bees blew past the stadium and alighted on a tree in the parking lot. They refused to leave. When the tree was still leaning under their weight the next morning, an exterminator was called.

Callers want to know why a beekeeper wasn’t consulted. Some beekeepers will drive out and collect bee swarms, putting them to beneficial use instead of eradicating them.

“I’m sick to my stomach,” one caller said.

“Why didn’t they just smoke ‘em out and move them to a field somewhere?” lamented a second.

“Three years from now they’re going to be complaining there are no fruits or vegetables” for lack of pollination, said a third.

Stockton’s Linda Driver, who has some bees of her own, took me to task — nicely — for failing to mention alternatives.

“A little bit of education would have been a good thing,” she said.

Point taken. Driver referred me to this Sacramento store, which you can call for a list of folks in your area who will come and collect bees instead of destroying them.

Ports President Pat Filippone, quoted as saying the exterminator “came out and zapped them (the bees),” said Tuesday he hasn’t heard any concern from the community. He added that all he knows is the bees were removed by an exterminator — he can’t say for certain how they were killed, or even whether they were killed.

I’ve called the exterminator to ask what the ultimate outcome was — will post here if I get an explanation.

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  • Blog Author

    Alex Breitler

    A native of Benicia, he lives in Stockton with his wife, Ann, who forces him to go backpacking in the Sierra Nevada or Trinity Alps at every opportunity. He has been writing mostly about natural resources since 2003, first in Redding and now in ... Read Full
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