Swarm of honey bees finds a sweet home

Submitted to Dorchester Banner/Darlene Goehringer
Cindy Reynolds coaxed the honey bees out of their temporary perch across from the post office in Cambridge.

CAMBRIDGE — Full masks and personal protective gear — sound familiar?
It’s not what you were thinking.

Darlene Goehringer and her sister Cindy Reynolds were safe inside their suits and behind their mesh face coverings on Tuesday, when they responded to a request from Sheriff James Phillips Jr. Seems they were the ones with the expertise and courage to remove a threat to public safety.
Like 20,000 of them.

The swarm made its appearance in a tree on High Street opposite the post office. Not surprisingly, they were noticed pretty quickly.
The sheriff called to have the bees saved, not destroyed — they are critical to pollination of crops, for one thing — and contacted Pop’s Old Place Farm in Hurlock, after the area was made safe. “Members of City of Cambridge staff blocked off that section of sidewalk,” City Commissioner and Banner Advertising Manager Dave Cannon said.

Cue Darlene and Cindy.
They arrived with equipment to catch and transport the critters back to the farm in Hurlock. The trick is to capture the queen, after which the others will follow.
A lot of them will follow, in fact. There are about 3,500 honeybees in a pound, and this swarm was between four and five pounds.

The bees were taken safely to the farm, where Ms. Goehringer reported they were in their new home, a “nuc box,” used to establish hives.
Pop’s Old Place was established in 1909, and produces a variety of meats and other products as alternatives to commercially raised confinement meats.

A statement on the farm’s website says, “We are continuously adjusting our Agriculture practices to be healthier for the animals, the soil and the consumer.”
The business is operated by Darlene and Arthur Goehringer.

“Due to her dedication with regards to conservation, stewardship and education she was designated and honored with the Dorchester County Cooperator of the Year Award for 2019,” a statement from Dorchester County Soil Conservation said. “Maryland Department of Agriculture Secretary Joseph Bartenfelder also presented Darlene with a citation in recognition of the award.”

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