Tsogo Sun’s Riverside Sun Resort not only accommodates corporate, leisure and conference guests, the resort also recently had the honour of accommodate Mother Nature in the form of approximately 20 000 bees.
The Queen decided to nest on the 6th floor and she and her swarm of bees produced a hive that spanned all of three stories. The hive was situated between the two concrete blocks of the main building and access was through a small hole on the side of the building.
“In line with our strategy to conserve nature, protect our guests and embedding environmental practices into our daily operations it was not a difficult decision to spend funds to safely and environmentally relocate the bees. The combined efforts between the local fire brigade, the private sector and our establishment in protecting the swarm of bees sets an example for many.” says Herman Muller, General Manager of the resort. The professional services received from the local fire brigade and from Mr. Hannes Kruger from Kopanong Environmental Services, with over 17 years of experience in relocating or removing bees, assured the success of this project in the late afternoon.
It is interesting to note that the Queen Bee secretes a pheromone that attracts other bees to her and this is how a new hive is formed and over a short period of time established. The most environmentally friendly way to relocate a beehive is to use the opposite pheromone which repels the bees and the Queen from the immediate area. The pheromone is sprayed into the area in a slow and precise manner to avoid any panic or defensive behaviour from the bees and the swarm slowly feels irritated and simply flies out and does not enter the hive again. The pheromone does not affect any other bee populations in the immediate area but does prevent the re-establishment in the same area of a hive for up to 20 years.
The timing of removing the swarm was another critical factor to consider hence the project taking place now during spring. The bees have checked out from Riverside Sun Resort without any incident and the Resort wishes them a good journey settling into their new chosen home wherever that might be.