Local News

Honeybees Swarm Henderson Family's Home

Posted August 10, 2006 6:15 a.m. EDT

— Honeybees have found a home where they aren't welcome. In the backyard of Marie and Wallace Jones on Arch Street, three hives are high in the trees. The Joneses have six children, and they're scared they will get stung.

"We don't go on the back porch no more," said Marie Jones. "One day, my son went back there and the bees chased him inside the house. They don't even go back there anymore."

The hives first became visible last month when the landlord trimmed back some of the trees. Marie Jones said wherever she has turned for help, she's been turned down.

"I haven't got anything," she said. "Nobody. I've called pest control, environmental control and my landlord, and nobody has responded."

However, help could be as close as the neighborhood beekeeper. Lawrence Elliott removed a hive from a historic house in Virginia, and he uses bees to pollinate his vegetable crop. His advice to the Jones family is to leave the bees alone, and wait for the winter cold to kill them.

"I would say the only danger there if you go out there and disturb them," said Elliott. "If you leave them undisturbed and let them go about their business and you would go about your business, you don't have trouble with bees."

Elliott warned that people shouldn't throw rocks or sticks, or aggravate bees in anyway.

"They are going to eat you up," he said.

On request, beekeepers will remove hives. Most neighborhood beekeepers can be reached through county agriculture extension services. However, the hives on Arch Street may be too high up in the trees to remove safely.