Nonprofit helps bee-infested homeowners for free, puts bees to work

AGBeat News | August 22, 2011  | 21 Comments

bee removal Nonprofit helps bee infested homeowners for free, puts bees to work

Is this a win, win, win?

Bee infestations are seen as a nuisance to homeowners like Colorado homeowner Debbie Hill who purchased a foreclosure home inside of which an inspector missed a bee colony with 60,000 live bees. When it began heating up this summer, her walls and floors began oozing with amber goo that was later discovered to be honey.

To some, bee colonies in a home or on a property are a nuisance, to others, they are dangerous as some people are deathly allergic to bee stings. In almost all cases, homeowners call a bee removal company to come poison the insects as a solution to the problem.

Austin entrepreneur Walter Schumacher seeks to make Austin a no-kill city for bees and has gone so far as to launch a non profit organization, Central Texas Bee Rescue which will come out to any Austin property and remove a honey bee colony for free. The rescue then takes the colony to their land where they are not killed, rather put to work making honey, beeswax, soaps and the like until they die a natural death. Austin homeowners that call 311 with bee issues are now referred directly to Schumacher.

Could this really work on a national level?

It sounds like a utopian ideal that could never be achieved, but when homeowners buy these vacant homes only to discover massive bee problems, or a neighbor’s bee problem becomes a homeowner’s, isn’t this a win-win situation? The homeowner pays nothing for bee removal and the non profit puts the bees to work.

Over the weekend, honey farmer Tim Dietz was called out to a Southeast Texas home to recover 200,000 European bees which he transported to his land. Dietz told KDFM News that the average hive is about the size of a basketball, but this one was about the size of a 55 gallon drum, so he was glad he could save the bees and put them to good use.

Could this trend catch on so homeowners like Debbie Hill aren’t in a bind when they discover bees inside their home? Cities like Austin could theoretically adopt a no-kill policy for bees, but other cities aren’t as liberal. Would any city really need a policy of there are companies like Schumacher’s that are willing to extract bees for free, put the bees to work and make a profit form honey and other byproducts?

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