PITTSBURG — Local real estate broker Timothy Kundiger made use of his beekeeping hobby Saturday and set up to transfer a hive from the back of the Morning Sun’s building.
“I do what’s called a trap-out, so the bees are inside the wall and I basically create a one-way trap where they can get out but they can’t get back through the old hive,” Kundiger said. “Eventually, I’ll get the queen to come out and then I can take the box off, transport it, come back, put the box back up, and seal up the hole so they don’t get back in there.”
The broker said 2018 marks his third year as a backyard beekeeper.
“My daughter is in girl scouts and she went and did a beekeeping club presentation and I thought it would be something I’d be interested in, so I took a seminar at Pittsburg State University,” he said. “I bought two hives that first summer, I caught a swarm, and I have been playing with it ever since.”
Kundiger said he views this work as an escape from his real estate job.
“I can go out there and mess with the bees and not think about what else is going on,” he said. “My wife uses the wax to make soaps and lotions and we go the farmers market to sell the honey, so it’s just kind of an extra hobby for us.”
The beekeeper discussed how citizens should react to a swarm, as bees typically swarm during this time of year.
“When you start messing with honey bees, they will come after you, but as long as you leave them alone, they won’t mess with you,” he said. “Usually, when they are swarming, they are more interested in what is going on with them because where they are is just a stopping point for them.”
Kundiger urged people to not go out of their way to kill bees.
“As I’m sure a lot of people know by now, there are certain species of bee that are protected,” he said. “They have issues with pesticides with farmers because they pollinate crops, while at the same time they end up picking up some pesticides, taking it back to the hive, and infecting the hive.”
He cited hive beetles as an another major issue for bee hives.
“If you see them, call me or another beekeeper because if there’s a crack anywhere in your house, they can get in there and start making a nest,” Kundiger said. “Most beekeepers can get them out doing what I did at the back of your building, and it usually takes a couple of weeks.”
Anyone in need of a beekeeper can call Kundiger at 620-687-3542.
— Brandon Schmitz is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.