Urban Wildlife

Killer Bee Hive Removed From Mandarin Woman's Yard

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Hanging 30 feet in the air in Sara Hatt's backyard is a bee hive, bigger than a basketball.

"A residential neighborhood, a backyard is no place to have a wild bee colony," said Richard Martyniak. ""No reason to leave this here."

When the city refused to remove it, Hatt called On Your Side and was put in touch with All Florida Bee removal.com and  Martyniak, an entomologist and stinging insect expert. Today, he arrived to remove the bees from Hatt's home.

A lab will have to confirm that this hive was built by aggressive African bees, but it had all of the characteristics, said Martyniak.

"African bees tend to build these external nests more frequently than European bees." he said.

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.

Mandarin Park and Boat Ramp Closed Temporarily for Improvements

Mandarin Park and Boat Ramp will be closed to the public beginning Monday, Oct. 4 through the end of the year while the city makes improvements to the park and boat ramp.

Improvements include new ADA-compliant play equipment, new signage throughout the park as well as resurfacing and expanding the parking lot to add additional spaces. The park is expected to re-open early 2011.
During the closure, residents are encouraged to utilize other area parks and boat ramps which include:


  • Walter Jones Historical Park, 11964 Mandarin Road
  • Chuck Rogers Park, 1950 San Jose Blvd.
  • Alberts Field, 2073 Brady Road
  • Losco Regional Park, 10931 Hood Road
  • Julington Durbin Creek Preserve, 3130 Bartram Park Blvd.


(Boat Ramps)

New Blood Perks Up Florida Panther Population

USA Today - By the early 1990s there were only 20 to 25 Florida panthers left out of what was once a large and thriving population – and those that remained were sickly and inbred, destined for extinction within 20 years, experts estimated. So in 1995 conservation managers moved eight wild-caught female pumas from Texas to the area – a reintroduction so successful that between 1995 and 2008 a total of 424 panther births have been documented.