May is typically the start of swarm season for honey bees in the Treasure Valley; however, the warmer winter may have resulted in an early start to this time of year when bees reproduce and find new places to build hives.
Swarm season can be a dangerous time for honey bees because some people become frightened by the swarm and try to destroy it.
Although the sight of a swarm can be alarming, there is no need to be scared. Honey bees in a swarm are not aggressive. (Wow, take a shot every time you read the word “swarm.’”)
So if you stumble upon a swarm (shot) on your property and it’s not causing a problem, then let the bees … well … be.
But if you are not diggin’ where they appear to be potentially setting up shop, no worries.
Free collection and removal of swarms is offered by members of the Treasure Valley Beekeepers Club, a volunteer-led, nonprofit organization dedicated to beekeeping in the Treasure Valley.
Just go to idabees.org/swarms to contact a beekeeper closest to your location.
It’s important to clarify that local beekeepers are interested in collecting only honey bee swarms; not hornet or wasp nests.
And if you have an established hive in a building, often a licensed and insured professional removal specialist will need to be called to remove those bees.
How do I know if I have a swarm?
A swarm initially looks like a cloud of bees up in the air that will eventually cluster into a bundle on a free-hanging object.
“The cluster could be as small as a grapefruit or larger than a basketball,” explains Melinda Jean Stafford, president of the Treasure Valley Beekeepers Club.
The swarm may land on and form its beard-like cluster on trees, bushes, fence posts, swing sets and other locations.
Pictures and more information are available at idabees.org/swarms.
Family fun run and festival to benefit three Idaho children fighting cancer
Boise’s Got Faith’s (BGF) seventh annual Family 5k and Kids’ “Crazy Sock” Fun Runs will take place Sunday, May 6, at Julia Davis Park, 700 S. Capitol Blvd., Boise.
A silent auction and family festival with kids’ activities, bounce houses, and live entertainment will immediately follow the runs.
All proceeds from the event go directly to help with expenses related to each year’s honorees’ battle with childhood cancer. This year’s BGF honorees include:
▪ JW Hudson, a happy, energetic almost two-year-old from Meridian battling stage IV neuroblastoma.
▪ Mia Trease, a smiley, spunky, athletic 12-year-old from Filer battling tumors in her legs and lungs as a result of osteosarcoma.
▪ Micah Kester, a smart, loving 3-year-old from Boise who enjoyed playing games with his brother, making others laugh, and using his imagination. Micah was diagnosed with leukemia in November and grew his angel wings in March of this year.
Since BGF’s efforts began in 2012, more than $350,000 has been raised to benefit Idaho children and their families in their fight against childhood cancer.
Registration is $30 general and $20 for children 18 and younger.
To register for the race, donate to the cause, or find out more about the honorees, go to boisegotfaith.org.
Boise neighborhood celebrates Idaho nonprofits, future friendships
Lost Grove Brewing and Bittercreek Alehouse are joining forces to promote the 6th year of Idaho Gives, a 24-hour marathon of fundraising and awareness that spotlights Idaho nonprofits, by hosting the official evening celebration on Thursday, May 3.
Connect with nonprofits, enjoy live music and fill your belly with local eats and beer at an all-ages Boise Future Friends Block Party from 5 to 10 p.m. on La Pointe Street in the Lusk District (between Ann Morrison Park and Boise State).
All proceeds from Bittercreek’s Indie Beer-mobile (featuring local product from Lost Grove Brewing, Powderhaus Brewing, Idaho Kombucha and more), a portion of total sales from neighborhood partners (Lost Grove Brewing, Madre, The Shed) and two on-site food trucks (Sushi Shack, Urban Smoke) will be distributed evenly between all participating nonprofits.
In addition to food and beverage sales, fundraising will be made possible through two raffles — a major raffle that rewards guests to give through the Idaho Gives platform and a secondary raffle that rewards guests who connect to the nonprofit partners on site.
Check out a list of nonprofits on Facebook.
Michelle Jenkins: 208-377-6451