Sometimes being busy as a bee can get you into trouble.
That is the case of a set of Italian honeybees which had made a hive for themselves at a Camp Robinson Road property whose owners were in the midst of a major renovation project. The owners of the property had to make a decision: How to humanely remove the hive in such a way to save the life of the bees while at the same time to continue working on their property.
"We didn’t bother to find out if we could legally exterminate the hive because we knew we didn’t want to," said Virginia James, Property Manager for Doyle Rogers Company. "But, we knew the bees had to go and we had to save them."
That was the quandary they found themselves in when they began preparing the build at 3821 Camp Robinson Road for their new retail tenant, USA Super Tops and Bottoms. A colony of honeybees had set up a hive within the cinder block wall at the rear of the building. The hole was 13 feet above the ground. Painter, Windell Jones, decided to postpone painting that side of the building because the bees.
In need of some professional advice, the Doyle Rogers Company turned to an old friend, Keith Smith, Bee and Wildlife Removal Specialist. Smith, sizing up the situation, said he could trap the swarm, but he did not have a 13-foot platform that would be needed to support a trap he would need to set up to lure the bees away from the building.
Renovation of the building was being performed by Robert Thompson of Robert Thompson Construction Company.
When he was informed of the situation, he volunteered to set up a scaffold to support the replacement hive provided by Keith Smith. After that, all there was to do was to wait for about three weeks for most of the bees could find their way into the trap.
On Friday, April 18, Smith met with novice beekeepers, Harvey Yates and son, Jimmy Yates of Benton, to collect the bees. Keith had decided to give the colony to the Yates to help them in establishing a beekeeping business.
"Thanks to Keith, the Yates now have three hives," James said.
Colony Collapse Disorder is a technical term used to explain that honeybees in North America and Europe are having a difficult time. Entire hives just disappear. In some cases beekeepers have lost half of their hives before they knew there was a problem. Scientists are trying to find the cause, but it appears to be a complicated combination of things such as pesticides, mites, malnutrition, genetic factors, immunodeficiencies and loss of habitat, James said.
"It’s important to realize that honeybees are not just about honey. Some of the crops that absolutely depend on honeybee pollination are: apple, apricot, blackberry, blueberry, cherry, cranberry, peach, pear, persimmon, plum pumpkin, raspberry, squash, watermelon, sunflower, trefoil, alfalfa, and many forms of clover," James said.