Weyburn City Council on Monday approved a new Beekeeping Bylaw for Weyburn residents. The bylaw will involve requiring a beekeeping license and other specific parameters.
Alex Korytko was there to help assuage people's concerns about swarms, and he spoke before Council, saying even with some bee hives on properties, there still won't be enough bees for people to notice.
"So it would be such a small amount, nobody will ever notice the bees in town," he noted. "As for the bee swarm situation, we will have phone numbers of beekeepers who you can contact straight if they even see [a swarm]. These swarms come through our town. I picked four swarms since 2018 in the town area, so they coming from south and they are out, and I guess if you have questions you can ask, and if I can't answer I do my best."
He said a swarm of bees had set up on a steel beam a few feet off of the ground in a shop yard in 2008.
"The mechanics I worked with, they were going to grab a torch and torch them down, and I said, hey, that's a honeybee. It's not a wasp, it's not something aggressive. It's a honeybee, so I just wiped the swarm in a box and put them in a corner at Young's Equipment and they were sitting there for two years," he shared. "They were able to watch it, observe, and it gave them honey in a week after I put them in that box."
Korytko said the mechanics realized it was wise to keep them around, and that they were interesting insects.
"I'm from Ukraine, and I grew up in a town of 1,200 people," he said. "That town has around 500 colonies. That's what we can count of them. So in our area, we will not have such an amount, I'm sure. If we have 15, 20, that probably will be our max. So I think the number of bees we are going to have in our town, nobody really will notice it, who is worried."
He said the main concerns reflect simply not being aware of the docile nature of honey bees. Swarm season, he added, will be at the end of May, and in June.