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Fl. Homeowner Regrets Killing Thousands of Honeybees

Animals
Max Pixel / CC

Bees are vital pollinators, and the consequences of their dying population could have far-reaching impacts to our food chain.

That's why a woman in Cape Coral in southwest Florida expressed regret after calling pest control to exterminate thousands of honeybees that swarmed her garage and SUV on Saturday.


"I just wish it could have been different," she told Fort Myers News-Press. "Bees are valuable. I wish I knew about free bee removal. I wouldn't have made the decision to kill them."

The homeowner admitted to the publication that she had "no idea what to do" and felt like she needed to act quickly when she made the call to pest control.

Sure, her action is a real tragedy, but how many of us would know what to do if in the same situation?

First of all, be assured that while a large swarm of honeybees in your home or car might be frightening, the bugs are generally docile so they likely won't harm you if not provoked.

Second, and most importantly, you should call a local beekeeper as soon as possible, not the exterminator. Beekeepers are invested in the survival of honeybees and can help remove your swarm without killing them—and they usually do it for little or no money.

You can contact a nearby beekeeping association or use this website to find a beekeeper near you. For instance, a cursory scan of beekeepers near my home in South Carolina shows dozens of free swarm removal services that will not harm the creatures and will incorporate them into their own apiaries.

Paul Shannon of Shannon Farms Honey in Buckingham told the Fort Myers News-Press that people should not be afraid of contacting beekeepers day or night.

"Beekeepers work all day every day," Shannon said. "Definitely contact them; pest control is always just going to exterminate the problem."

The Florida woman hopes her story will educate others about better options.

"I'm hoping these bees aren't going to die in vain," she said.

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