Killer Bee Colony Invades, Calls Mandarin Backyard Home | Environment

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Killer Bee Colony Invades, Calls Mandarin Backyard Home

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It's an intimidating sight, even from a distance - high in a tree 30 feet above the ground.

"It started out small. We thought it was a small bird's nest, didn't think anything of it, but now it is really big," said Sara Hatt.

The hive is in her backyard and she recently had a pest control expert look at the big bee hive in her tree and the results scared her.

"He said it was an African honey bee hive," said Hatt.

It is so menacing, it is restricting the use of her backyard. "We can't use one side ...we can't get the lawn crew to cut the yard. We can't let the dogs out to one side of the yard,"  she said.

Recently one of her dogs got stung and was rushed to an animal emergency room.

"By the time I got him there he was almost dying; they kept him for about six hours. It took him a week to come back from it," said Hatt.

The African bee's sting is no more venomous than the sting of a European bee, but it attacks in numbers.

She called the city of Jacksonville for help.

"The city said it can't remove it because it is on private property and the other places said they don't deal with African bees," said Hatt in frustration.

Then she tried a Louisiana expert for help. "I emailed Billy the exterminator," she said. So far no reply.

But Gainesville-based All Florida Bee Removal, a specialist in African bees, said it will remove the colony Monday. Until that happens, Hatt is warning her Mandarin neighbors.

"I've been telling the neighbors they need to stay inside, keep an eye on their animals. If we are able to get it removed, they're not able to go outside for four hours after it is gone," said Hatt. "Even my neighbors think I am playing until they actually see it."

And Hatt is likely not alone.

Expect to see more cases African Honey Bees, said Richard Martyniak of All Florida Bee Removal: They are migrating from Central to North Florida.

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