Beekeeper works to remove thousands of bees from Saginaw family' - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Beekeeper works to remove thousands of bees from Saginaw family's yard

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SAGINAW (WJRT) - (06/04/14) - Tens of thousands of bees are terrifying a homeowner and her neighbors in Saginaw.

The insects took up residence in a maple tree in the 800 block of Ash.

Wednesday, a local beekeeper stepped in to help.

Fifty thousand to 70,000 honey bees caused the problem.

The situation is under control now, but that wasn't the case this weekend.

They've been giving the homeowner and her family problems since they moved in two years ago. The family doesn't use the front yard often because they try to steer clear of the bees.

Crystal Parker says things got really bad this weekend after she sealed the hole in the tree that the insects fly in and out of.

"Saturday night, I tried to fill the biggest hole with foam, thinking that I could maybe sooth or get rid of the problem, but it actually made the problem worse," she said.

Sunday, she woke up to thousands of angry bees that were swarming her house.

"We were trying to get ready for church and my house was just bombarded with bees, there were thousands of bees, it was almost unreal. There was so many bees," she said. "I've called the city, they wouldn't come out because it's private property, my insurance won't cover it because it's not considered a disaster, so I was just dumbfound."

That's when she turned to Toby Sewell, of J&T BeeKeepers.

"This is no problem. I've done this many times," he said.

Sewell knows almost all there is to know about bees.

"I've read and read and read about bees, gone to conferences," he said.

Calmly and confidently, he set up a man-made beehive, sealed the tree and added escapes.

"They don't come after you just to come after you. You have to do something to them first," he said.

The insects can get out, but not back into the tree.

"They'll go inside that hive and start taking up refuge. Eventually the rest of the bees will signal to the other bees that 'hey, when you come out, this is going to be our new home right here,'" he said.

Neighbors watched in relief as Sewell completed the job. It'll take about a month and a half to empty the tree.

"I'll check probably every few days," he said.

He will then safely take the bees away.

"I don't care where they go. I just want them gone," Parker said.

Sewell cares for dozens of hives. He keeps some of the honey and sells the rest, along with the bees wax, at Farmers markets.

Wednesday, he was only stung once while working.
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