A hive of what are believed to be Africanized honeybees was discovered earlier this week inside the old rail station on Manthey St. in Cleveland, creating a dangerous situation for anyone who stumbled upon the aggressive hive.
On Saturday, bee removal expert Joel Dudley was contracted to destroy the hive and seal up the building to prevent any further entry into the building, which hasn’t been occupied for a few years. The last known business in the old rail station was The Framer frame shop. It was also the previous studio of the late sculpture artist, Bill McGlaun.
Dudley and a friend spent hours on Saturday painstakingly gathering the bees with shop vacs while a Cleveland police officer blocked traffic on this seldom-traveled section of Manthey Street behind City Glass.
“The guy who owns this property was out here mowing the other day when the bees started to attack him. They chased him down the street,” Dudley said. “Normal honeybees don’t do that. Honeybees aren’t real aggressive like an Africanized hive.”
The bees had built a 4-foot by 3-foot hive inside the wall. Dudley and his partner pulled away the old exterior until they were able to remove the hive.
“We then have to reseal everything,” Dudley said Saturday afternoon, taking a break from the heat. “I started having heat exhaustion earlier and had to quit. People don’t realize how hot the bee suits can be when you’ve worn them for hours. Plus the suits start sticking to your skin as you sweat, making it easier for the bees to sting you.”
Dudley said he was stung three dozen times Saturday morning.
Last year, he removed four Africanized hives in the Texas City area and removes on average around 8-9 hives per year.
“Many are relocated and spared. The only bees that are not saved are the aggressive Africanized ones,” he said. “They have to be destroyed.”
Anyone with bee problems can call Dudley at 832-794-1610. He is a wildlife specialist and runs his own nuisance wildlife company called NWR.
By Vanesa Brashier, firstname.lastname@example.org