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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ennis, TX USA
    Posts
    5,124

    Default Africanized Bees?

    I herd about this on last week and got a call from the family tonight. A family her locally had a swarm take up shop 45' up in a dead pecan tree brach. Last week 4-5 people were walking by the tree and the bees swarmed all over them. All got stung multiple times and the young daughter got it the worst w/ 40+/- stings. They said any time you get close to the tree hundreds of bees attack. I know soap/water will kill them. But they are 45' up in the air. What are the options to get rid of these. I don't mind suiting up and helping them, but would like a good course of action.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Inver Grove, MN
    Posts
    1,462

    Default

    You could probably rent a power sprayer that would shoot soapy water 45 feet. Suit up really, really well and practice with the sprayer before you try for real. Can you actually see where they are in the tree, or would you be guessing at where to spray?
    Linux - World domination through world cooperation

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ennis, TX USA
    Posts
    5,124

    Default

    I haven't gone to look yet. But they say you can see where they are. I thought about using a good power washer and filling the chemical tank with soap. Also, If I do it or not. I wanted to get some of the dead bees and send to a lab to get tested.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Posts
    126

    Default Swarm high in a tree.

    Could you do it late at night or early in the morning so most would be clustered together?
    http://bees-on-the-net.com/bs
    Bees give me a buzz!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    StateWide, Florida, USA
    Posts
    180

    Default

    consider renting a lift andworkiing the bees up close & personal. power spraying from the ground has bad news written all over it and I wouldn't want to be part of that. think liability, man.

    Also, what are TX rules for pest control? Here in FLA, applying soap is considered pest control.
    Richard Martyniak, M.S. Entomologist - http://AllFloridaBeeRemoval.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Lavaca county, Texas
    Posts
    497

    Default

    Derek, killing the bees can earn you a stiff fine in the State of TX. The pest control people pay $700 + for a pest control license and protect their turf almost as fiercely as AHB. You can trap the bees, but not kill them. Even the fire dept., by law, is not allowed to destroy AHB. Even as a 'favor' this can get sticky, no pun intended.

    Moral of the story: I dunno. We need a better lobby in Austin? That idea sort of chafes, doesn't it?

    She needs to call an exterminator.

    GL,
    Summer

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ennis, TX USA
    Posts
    5,124

    Default

    Thanks for the tip Summer. I will stay away from this one. They called one pest control company and they turned it down. I will tell her to call until she gets a company that will do it. Could I get a cup full of the dead ones and send to a lab anyway?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    burnet texas
    Posts
    80

    Default

    Fire Depts in Texas do soap bee's on a regular basis. I'm not saying its right I'm just saying it is being done. Been a Firefighter for 24 years .Worked several AHB calls with dead dogs and hundreds of stings to indvidual people. What are we to do just let them sting people until Pest Control gets there ?
    A big dog weighs a hundred.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Posts
    126

    Default Illegal to kill a swarm without a license.

    It's often said that you can't kill swarm without a pest control license, I've said it myself, but is it true? Does it make a difference whether one is paid? Is it a control on the insecticide (does soapy water count as insecticide) or of killing bees?

    I've also been told a pest control person can't kill a swarm unless a beekeeper has deemed it uncatchable.

    More pertinent, is this ever enforced? :confused:
    http://bees-on-the-net.com/bs
    Bees give me a buzz!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,410

    Default

    You can kill them in Texas, but if you take money for it you are in the pest control business and you better have a license. Now, I think that tree needs a good scrubbing with soap and water, after all, the bees pooped on it . In Texas, to get caught, a pest control operator has to turn you in to the state.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,313

    Default

    I'm sure Richard Martiniyak knows more about this than I do, but it is my understanding that the pest control licenses are in place to protect the public. (I assume TX is similar to FL)

    In this case the public is at risk from these bees and anyone seeking to destroy them could make the situation worse if they are not educated on how to do it correctly.

    The fire dept. is supposed to protect the public as well. They should only be soaping bees to protect the public, but if a pest control operator can be called in without further endangering the public that is what they should be doing. If the bees are a danger to passersby and they cannot cordon off the area, then by all means they should destroy them immediately.

    Do I have that right, Richard?
    Troy

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Danbury,Ct. USA
    Posts
    1,966

    Default

    The heroic attempt to dislodge an AHB open-air nest from 45 ft away with a stream of soapy water, even by the fire dept., is looking for trouble. If they get mad at someone for walking by, can you imagine the mood they'll be in after a bath that got them wet but really didn't kill many?

    Dickm

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    burnet texas
    Posts
    80

    Default

    Well I guess we use a special soap then because they drop like you sprayed them with gasoline. We have the foam and net type bee suits to protect us while working.
    A big dog weighs a hundred.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    central fla usa
    Posts
    63

    Default

    Any soap will kill them if it's strong enough, it breaks down the surface tension of the water,the same as the class a foam carried on fire engines.
    As for the fire dept "letting professionals" kill AHB , they have more resources to block off neighborhoods and area's to be able to soap down bees if needed,then a pest company.
    If I had a mean hive or swarm going crazy at my house, and they have veils and are able to soap them down, I'd be glad to get the buggers killed.
    I'm sure all florida pest would disagree, but FD's are everywhere,but pest companies that have any degree of bee knowledge or expertise are few and far between.
    There's also a thing called public hazard and duty to act ,it's not to good of liability to leave the hazard for the public to get into,after a fire dept has left and not done anything to fix the problem.
    As for the soap becoming a pesticide, to me that's a retarded example of big brother at work, or maybe a strong lobby by the pest control industry here ,I don't know.
    Once your soap becomes a pesticide, then you have to have a license,go figure.
    Where there are fruits and nuts there are beekeepers!!!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Danbury,Ct. USA
    Posts
    1,966

    Default

    Thanks,
    What type of soap do you use? What is a net suit? You mean a veil? You mention foam. Is it soap or foam that you spray? It certainly seems safer than gasoline.

    Dickm

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    StateWide, Florida, USA
    Posts
    180

    Default

    Yes, Troy, you have it right. Pest control is heavily regulated in Florida. Florida was the first state to require licensure of the pest control industry and it does boil down to protecting the consumer & the environment. One seemingly simple misapplication can cost a pest control certified operator hundreds of thousands to millions in fines and lawsuits, so most of us are very careful!

    Here in Fla, EMS are allowed by statute to treat stinging insect threats, and many personnel are trained by the State University Extension (AFBEE) and State regulatory (DACS-DPI) in emergency bee management. We also train and present seminars in AHB threat management.
    Richard Martyniak, M.S. Entomologist - http://AllFloridaBeeRemoval.com

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Barry, TX USA
    Posts
    861

    Default

    I remember reading an artcle back in the 1990s about bee removal on San Clemente island. I think they were removing all non-native feral organisms from the island and I think it was Adrian Wenner (pls. forgive me if I'm remembering this wrong) that was putting something in the hives that killed them instantly. I think it was sulphur, carbide or something they burned in the hive to kill the bees. As I remember, that was pretty simple.

    I would say that here in TX, the pest control laws have been passed at the urging of the pest control lobby. The intent was to protect the pest control industry, not the general public. Of course, they say it's to protect the public but that's a bold faced lie. If some sort of consumer union urged the passing of the pest control laws in Texas, I think it would be fair to say the law was passed to protect the public.

    If you don't take money for killing the bees, I don't think that you will get in trouble in TX. It is all about the money.

    My experience has been that the local pest control companies around me don't do a very good job of killing, eradicating or removing bees. It seems that I get cutout calls all the time to remove bees where the licensed pest control people have failed. By this time I have no idea what chemicals have been used on the hive and I'm not interested. One case comes to mind about a year ago. The folks had a swarm move into their chimney and it hadn't been there but a few days. My counsel was to open a window to insure a good draft and light a fire with much wood in the fire place. I even recommended mesquite wood because it burns hot and makes a ton of smoke. The hive was so new there couldn't be much wax and the little that would fall to the wood would burn up. The homeowner, with whom I go to church, explained that he wasn't interested in having a fire in the fireplace in June. I thought it was a good idea with a short lived discomfort. He elected to call a pest control company and that began an expensive eight month ordeal. They covered his chimney with a trash bag and duct tape to keep the bees in and applied chemicals that didn't do a thorough job. The bees lived on and found their way into the house despite the closing of the flue(sp?). Many people in the house were stung by these bees and it was a daily chore to remove dead bees from the indoor window sills in the house. Eight months later they think the bees are gone and can go about their business. Now there's no telling how much comb is in the chimney and that must be removed before they light a fire. Now the homeowner wishes he had heeded my counsel. To top it all off, that comb is still in the chimney and it wouldn't surprise me if another swarm moves in, attracted by that old comb.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lancaster, Ky. / Frostproof Fl.
    Posts
    989

    Default

    THe idiot who dreamed up a law banning a beekeeper from killing bees had his head somewhere other on his shoulders....

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    StateWide, Florida, USA
    Posts
    180

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by suttonbeeman View Post
    THe idiot who dreamed up a law banning a beekeeper from killing bees had his head somewhere other on his shoulders....
    are you advocating beekeepers joining the ranks of pest control, with the responsibilities, training, liability and fiscal investment that certified operators must assume? Or do you want a special exemption to kill bees, because you have intimate knowledge about keeping bees in colony? Things are a bit more complicated than your lovely statement would indicate. The end goal is to ensure that consumers are protected and that's what our pest control legislative statutes mandate. The beekeeping statutes protect bee keeping..how does that protect mr & mrs homeowner?

    IMO, most of my bee removal work requires pest management knowledge and experience. Beekeepers don't have the insecticide training nor delivery equipment to perform a complete job. And what about public safety? If a colony is out of hand, I have the equpment to knock them down, and fast. Soap or my smoker ain't going to do that.

    Most bee keepers don't have proper liability or WC insurance. As a FLA pest control operator, I'm required to carry pest control liability insurance. I'm also beholden to the state regulators...one call from mrs homeowner, and I've got an inspector on my 6. I can be fined, have my license suspended, revoked, or have my business shut down completely. So, I have to provide good service to the consumer, or else!

    I've done removals where bee keepers have removed colonies on an annual or higher frequency. Is that serving the consumer? A proper residual treatment can go a long way to reducing that frequency.

    Don't get me wrong though , I do agree with the previous post that most pest control technicians lack the biological & behavioural knowledge of social hymenoptera, and are overwhelmed by the treatment protocols that are needed. Plus, they rarely are given enough time by their service managers to properly complete bee jobs. And, of course, they aren't even interested in live removals.
    So a specialized operator/beekeeper hybrid is what's called for. maybe a special designation/certification is needed, at least in AHB states
    Richard Martyniak, M.S. Entomologist - http://AllFloridaBeeRemoval.com

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,410

    Default

    In Texas, most pest control companies won't touch bees. Their standard answer is "call a beekeeper", which leaves the homeowner with nowhere to turn. That's why the legislature removed the rule that beekeepers can't remove hives from inhabited buildings. The law changed last year. The only restriction is no "electrical equipment" or pesticides can be used.
    http://tais.tamu.edu/newsletter/pdf/bee_aware_jul07.pdf

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