The 4th of July is nearly here and that means picnics: burgers and dogs on the grill, gallons of lemonade, enough potato salad to split a gut, chocolate cake and ice cream — and bees. Lots of bees. Buzzing around the lemonade cooler, crawling into your glass, strafing the dessert table. Unwanted and unwelcome, bees never-the-less put in an appearance at every 4th of July shebang.
This 4th of July you can expect record numbers of the pests to dive bomb your outdoor activities. The mild winter allowed more bees to survive. When it stays cold for protracted periods, “bees will eat all their honey and starve to death,” explained beekeeping specialist James Tew of Ohio State University. While not good news for picnickers, it’s great news for farmers who depend on bees to pollinate crops. Last year, a mysterious disease called Colony Collapse Disorder decimated bee populations nationwide. This year bees appear to be recovering.
But for those allergic to their stings, bees, wasps, yellow jackets and hornets can mean death. For the rest of us, they’re a considerable nuisance. No one likes to be stung and aggressive buzzers can ruin a good picnic. Before you host the family this 4th of July, check the overhangs and eaves on your house and outdoor trees for hives. Wasps can build huge paper hives between the branches of evergreens. If you find a problem, call in the bee experts at Stern Environmental Group. Bees turn angry when their hive is disturbed and angry bees go on the attack. This is one for the pros!