As warm weather returns, so do bees and wasps - KPTV - FOX 12

As warm weather returns, so do bees and wasps

Posted: Updated: May 04, 2017 08:08 PM
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Many Portland residents headed outdoors to enjoy the sun and warmth as higher temperatures returned over the past two days, and experts say they should expect bees and wasps to join them.

Honey bees that have survived the winter now need to swarm or die since it's their way of giving birth. The bees split up and the new swarms look for new places to live, establish another queen and make honey.

To keep bees and wasps out of homes, experts say the important thing is to catch them before they move into walls or chimneys, or even into nearby trees for homeowners who don't like them so close.

Whatever homeowners do, experts like Brian Lacy with Urban Bees and Gardens say they shouldn’t kill bees because the insects keep gardens and orchards producing.

“(Do) you like fruits and vegetables? I know I do,” Lacy said. “We are looking at a 40 percent death rate from 2016 to 2017. Again, exposure to toxins, migratory bee-keeping, people need to not spray, or spray as little as possible.”

In addition to the dangers to bees, Lacy said pesticides are harmful to pets and children.

As for dealing with wasps, experts warn that cookouts can be an issue.  Eating outdoors often draws wasps, since the insects seem to smell meat from miles away.

Before grabbing the repellant, remember that experts say wasps are beneficial because they eat mosquitoes and help with crop pollination. The good news for this spring is that the wet and cold weather should reduce the likelihood of a big wasp problem.

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