Valentine beekeeper will take your unwanted swarms

David Paschke keeps bees in his Valentine neighborhood yard.

It’s the time of year when honey bees swarm to create new hives and their lives are tough enough – with mysterious die offs worldwide – without being sprayed with insecticide.

If a swarm lands on a tree branch or porch furniture or whatever, there are people like Midtown resident David Paschke who will collect it and save it.

Paschke has two hives of bees in his yard in the Valentine neighborhood, and is willing to start a third.

“Don’t spray the bees,” he said. “There are plenty of people who would come out and capture them.”

They will put the bees in a swarm box and take them to a new home.

Bees swarm when a hive gets too cramped, Paschke  said. About two thirds of them will leave with a new queen to search for a home.

Standing with his dog Chester in front of his hives, Paschke, 45, recently talked bees.

“It’s estimated that one third of the hives in the world did not make it through the winter last year,” he said.

Many of his bees, meanwhile, buzzed slowly in the front of their hives near bottles of liquid feeding medium.

“They hang out on their front porch, just like people do when it gets too warm,” he said. But they also forage within a three- mile radius, meaning his bees are pollinating plants as far away as the Country Club Plaza.

He has Italian bees in the left hive and a bee called carniolan in the other hive, a native of Hungary.

Bees normally cost $100 a package for three pounds of them  clustered around a queen. The equipment for raising them is up to $300 more.

He is in his third year of bee keeping but an accident last year wiped out his first hive and he had to start over. He won’t get any honey this year because it has to build up for the bees to feed on it through the first winter.

In winter, he will seal the hives and bees in each hive will cluster around their queen, eat honey and maintain a temperature of about 93 degrees.

He was a gardener for 30 years before he took up beekeeping as a hobby, he said.

“This was a nice next step for me to take,” he said.

If a swarm is spotted, Paschke can be reached at 816-509-4903 or

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