Even during pandemic beekeeping remains an essential service

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation’s capital has declared beekeepers to be essential workers during the coronavirus outbreak. Spring and summer is when beehives will “swarm,” meaning a queen will take half the hive to make a new hive. If the swarm isn’t collected by a beekeeper, the new hive can come to settle in residential backyards, attics, crawlspaces or other potentially ruinous areas. And that can create a stinging, scary nuisance. Beekeepers respond to swarms and carefully transplant them to designated areas such as community gardens, rooftops and even embassies in Washington. Collecting swarms of bees is challenging at any time, and even more so during a pandemic.