When thinking of spring, it’s probably safe to say most people do not think of honeybee mating season.
Enter local beekeeper Dan Lynch, who, voluntarily, will rid your house, barn, bushes, of honeybees, which are prolific right now due to the previously mentioned mating season, and take them to his hive.
Lynch got started with beekeeping in 1975 in New Castle, where he put an ad in the newspaper saying he was looking for used equipment.
He then met a man who had some beehives, but unfortunately also had a bad back.
“He had a bad back and I had a good back,” Lynch said. “He showed me the things about beekeeping that you can’t learn in books.”
Lynch, who retired in 2010 and resides just north of Kittanning off Route 28, said that he learned to remove swarms from trees and eventually remove bees from the inside of a home, which most people weren’t willing to do, essentially creating a niche market in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio.
He now maintains seven hives, which consist of bees collected in different areas when people call him about a swarm.
“People think I am nuts when I go to collect the bees without a protective suit on,” Lynch said. “My wife will confirm that.”
The native of New Castle added that most beekeepers don’t get stung much.
Anita Lynch is not excluded from all the buzz, either. Lynch and his wife often do honeybee show-and-tells at local elementary schools.
Several years ago, the Lynches’ grandson took an interest in the beekeeping activities, and when his teacher asked him what he did in the summer, the grandson produced photos of Lynch’s hives, which then led to them being invited to teach the children in kindergarten through sixth grade at Shannock Valley Elementary School about bees.
“We were then invited to Lenape Elementary approximately one month ago and will visit West Hills Elementary later in the month, where they have eight first-grade classes,” Lynch said. “Sometimes the teacher will wear the bee suit and the kids get a kick out of it. We give them honey straws and candy and things like that and teach them about pollination.”
“I always tell the kids that three-fourths of the food they eat is pollinated by bees,” he said. “Ice cream is made from milk, which comes from a cow, which eats grass and clover and things like that.”
Anyone who wants to get in touch with Lynch can call (724) 664-5058.