More than 80,000 bees removed from Florida gated community

(WFLA Photo)

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – More than 80,000 honeybees have been evicted from a gated community in Lakeland. The bees sure know how to pick their real estate, having made the Grasslands Community their home.

“One of the workers was mowing the yard and came across it. This was a big one,” said Dustin Hooper with All Creatures Wildlife Control.

It caused a bit of a commotion in the quiet neighborhood. “We found out about it last week, and we came down to look at it. We told everybody that came through to be careful because we were told they were hornets,” neighbor Ilene Phelin said.

They were, in fact, honeybees. Experts think there were more than 80,000 of them.

“It was more than what we thought,” bee keeper Robert Jones said. “All of them were home this morning because it was cold, all of them together. There was almost an inch and a half of bees on that comb.”

Jones believes the hive has been in the tree for least a year and a half or two years.

“Where those bees are, there are people going back everyday, a lot of traffic going through here, so that’s a health issue,” Hooper said. He  knew the bees needed to go, but but wanted to make sure they didn’t die. “We need them for the environment. We have to have bees. They pollinate all kinds of things. Without bees we got trouble,” Hooper said.

That’s why he called in local beekeepers to do the job. They slowly vacuumed the bees into a box and then, piece by piece, took apart the hive.

They were then taken to a new home. “It saves the bees; they don’t get killed. We carry them to an apiary and let them live out their life and do what they’re supposed to do,” Jones said.

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