By: Sharon Aron Baron
In the Ramblewood South community in Coral Springs, homeowners said they regret trying to prevent swarms of honey bees from entering through cracks in the side of their home because it only made the problem worse.
Ryan Russon said bees were getting in through small holes in the house’s wood siding under a bathroom window, prompting him to seal the area off. He used caulk, tape, and mounded piles of dirt against their entry point on the ground.
None of it worked.
The harder he tried to keep them out, the more determined they were to get inside, eventually coating the northern side of his home in a thick, noisy swarm.
He tried calling pest control companies, but they weren’t willing to open up the wall, where he knew a large honeycomb was waiting.
Removing them wasn’t a task for the city, either, because they were inside the walls.
“Last Monday, I noticed about a dozen bees in my bathtub, and by the weekend, I found baseball-sized balls of bees trying to get in,” said Russon.
On March 13, The Urban Beekeepers answered the Russons’ call and relocated what they believe are as many as 40,000 honey bees.
“We make several of these calls a week all over Broward, many of them in Coral Springs. It’s our goal to safely relocate these girls, so they can do what bees are meant to do: make honey and more bees,” said Beekeeper John Caldwell.
Caldwell and his wife Teresa are a two-person beekeeping team, running ten apiaries in Broward County, one of which is located behind the Coral Springs Community Garden.
Teresa said the bees rescued from this particular home would not be taken to the closest apiary, but far enough away they couldn’t find their way back.
“Once we have the queen, the rest of them follow,” she said, placing her in a deep Home Depot utility bucket.
In minutes, tens of thousands of her worker bees and drones followed, leaving behind yards of wax honeycombs filled with pollen — also known as beebread.
No one was stung in the hours it took to finish the job.
The Caldwells said it costs just ten dollars per year to register with the state as a beekeeper; they started doing it when they noticed the attrition rate was high among well-intentioned people using vacuums to suck them up.
“We use our own specially designed tools, and if we have to open up a wall, our services include patching things up,” they said.
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