Bees keep experts busy relocating hives

They are always a problem here in Arizona, but this year it seems there are more bees than normal, and they are causing havoc valley wide.

It's keeping one local bee removal company extremely busy. And it takes a dedicated professional to get close to the bees and remove the hive, but what happens to the bees after that.

Bees are an important part of our ecosystem, not only do we need them for pollination, they also produce some good food; honey.

FOX 10 tagged along with a pair of bees experts who have been busy lately, rescuing bees that have become a nuisance to neighborhoods.

These men go where most humans won't, into the bee swarm without protection.

Under the cover of smoke that masks the chemicals and scents bees release to signal an attack, Santos and Shawn of Sun Tan Honey Farms use their bare hands to remove problem hives.

They find six sheets of bee eggs and larvae, and a large amount of honey. They won't be discarded, but rather placed into new frames and relocated.

"We take the best of the comb and the brood, and we give it back to them so they can rebuild, it's like taking furniture and moving it to a new apartment," said Santos Vasquez.

But first they have to find the queen, once she is captured the rest of the bees will follow.

But the queen of the hive when FOX 10 was there was being elusive, she took flight and landed in a tree above. Thousands of bees took off after her and became aggressive, so the beekeepers put on their veils.

"This is where we take some of our bees," he said.

The bee experts set up several bee yards across the west valley. One of them is on Farmland in Buckeye. The bee yards are simply stacks of honeycombs out in the open. Hundreds of thousands of bees that were once nuisances in neighborhoods now live here.

"These are all of our recovery hives, they started as a single story, now some are five, some are four high, they just come here and thrive," said Vasquez.

"That big one right there, the five-story one, there's probably 300,000 bees in there," he said.

It's a natural solution to a natural problem, and the reward for the bee experts is pure honey.
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