GREENE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - A Greene County man is asking that people do not kill bee swarms this spring. Instead, he hopes they will call him or another beekeeper who will put them to good use.
"It's actually the hive or the colony of bees, their natural form of reproduction," said Frank Williams, the owner of Scatter Creek Berries and Produce. "You can't think of the bee as an individual insect, you have to think of the whole colony as an organism."
Williams's business is a pick-your-own farm that grows strawberries, blackberries, and pumpkins in the fall.
They are also adding blueberries to the farm soon.
Williams said they began keeping bees on the farm because they improve the quality of the fruit by providing more pollination.
"A lot of times a blackberry or strawberry can be malformed if it's not pollinated well," Williams said. "So if you get a more quality pollination you get a better quality fruit."
Even though bee swarms that form in the spring can look scary, Williams said they aren't aggressive and don't have to be killed.
"When you see a swarm that's when they're basically resting," he said. "They're putting out scout bees and looking for a place to sit up housekeeping. At that point they're really calm, they're as gentle as they'll ever be. They have nothing to protect. That's a good time to get some bees if you want to increase your apiary, the hives in your apiary."
So, if you see a swarm Williams hopes you will contact him instead of spraying it.
You can message him through the farm's Facebook page or call 870-586-0423.
If he is not available, local agriculture extension offices often have contact information for other local beekeepers.