What’s the buzz: Annual insect invasion is unBEElievable

Da'Niary Johnson, Staff Writer

The buzz around campus is that the bees are taking over the courtyard.  These Apis mellifera can bee seen hanging around the overflowing garbage cans during and after lunch and they are bugging students and faculty.  

“The bees around here are ridiculous,” said freshman Armani Carswell. “I almost got stung on the head by one.”

While some see the bees as harmful, some see their benefits. Let’s bee real, they sting people and buzz unsuspecting ears, but they also pollinate our plants which enable us to breathe and they help plants produce seeds which ensures the survival of many plant species.  

“Bees are very helpful,” said sophomore Christopher Marius. “They help the environment and help pollinate the flowers.”

Even though bees are necessary for the environment, bees are in deep trouble. There are roughly 315 species of bees in Florida. The most common bees in palm beach are Andrenidae, Apidae, Halictidae and Megachilidae, but due to toxic pesticides, climate change, and urbanization, Palm Beach County has lost 30 percent of its bee colony.  According to a 2019 study, 37.7 percent of managed honey bees saw a decline in their numbers. The economic impact of this is devastating.

According to an article released by Indiana University Bloomington’s Department of Biology, “bees are the most important group of pollinating insects and are key not only to the reproduction of hundreds of thousands of wild flowering plant species but also to the yield of about 85 percent of all cultivated crops.”

Either way, the bees can bee a problem for students getting stung especially when some may bee allergic to their stings. According to the Mayo Clinic, allergic reactions can include, “skin reactions, including hives and itching and flushed or pale skin. Difficulty breathing. Swelling of the throat and tongue” and a change in pulse.

“I got stung in the leg when I was walking to building four,” said sophomore Jackson Daniels. Although he remarked that he is not allergic to bees, he did see a doctor who put him on a round of antibiotics.

With student safety a concern, Central’s administration put together a plan to manage the unwelcomed guests.

“This time of year we always seem to have a busy bee population on campus,” said Ms. Garcia. “Custodians clean trash cans and spray to avoid attracting them even more. We have placed work orders to have the district come and handle it appropriately.” 

All the buzz about getting rid of the bees has left many to wonder why Central even sees an annual influx of bees on campus.

“Bees are usually aggressive and hostile in the early fall and late summer,” Ms. Garcia noted. “The reason for this is because winter is approaching, and they are also near the end of collecting and stashing away their honey supply. They become defensive and very protective of the beehive.”

But this doesn’t explain why the bees are attracted to the schools garbage cans. Garcia believes that the insects are attracted to the garbage cans because of the sugary food and snacks found inside of them which reminds them of nectar.

If you see a bee, don’t run or swat at it, simply walk away and if you do happen to get stung just pay a visit to the school nurse for cure-all bag of ice.