‘Live and Let Live’ Bee Policy in New Mexico
These days, killing bees is considered unwise, and socially unacceptable in many circles. Africanized “killer” bees notwithstanding, most species are benign and mild natured, so public officials and homeowners are increasingly aware that calling in beekeepers before exterminators is a good bet.
In Albuquerque, NM, this policy extends all the way to the city’s playgrounds.
Swarms of bees at several playgrounds have led to calls of complaints from more than one parent. Officials from city staff to park foresters say not to worry, these bees are a harmless variety called Ground-Nesting Bees. True to their name, they are most often seen near the ground.
Like other non-aggressive species, they are not prone to chasing anyone. But if disturbed, a few will sting. Most of this species, however, is non-stinging.
But the possibility of a bee sting worries some parents.
The bees prefer the highly maintained landscaping of parks, choosing dry areas where dirt and sand is to their liking.
Parent Fran Spofford was somewhat reassured when informed about the type of bees near the parks, but remains cautious.
“I guess I would feel safe from the standpoint they aren’t going to hurt you, but I don’t think I would want the kids playing there anyway,” said Spofford.