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Richard Nunn: 40,000 bees, 50 lbs. of honey, only 2 stings

How small colony of bees at News4Jax meteorologist's home became big removal project

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Since we didn’t have much of a winter, spring started early. At Casa de Loco, what I call the Nunn home, that meant an early start to spring cleaning and yard work. In one area of my backyard, I noticed a small colony of bees. That small colony continued to grow until the pesky little buggers became a nuisance.

The sting is mildly painful and it then itches. For some, the sting could be much worse if you’re allergic.

After a little research, I realized that the bees were honey bees. With populations of bees down across the nation, I wanted to make sure the bees were removed safely. A local website me to beekeepers Michael Leach and Scott Greenwald.

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On Wednesday morning, the experts found their nest was larger than we imagined. Thermal imaging show what they had estimated as 12 to 24 pounds quickly turned into 30-60 pounds. For removal, it was time to break out the saws, hammer and pry bar.

We’ve got honey!

Scott and Michael removed about 6 square feet finding honeycombs around 3 feet long. The first haul weighed around 20 pounds, and that was just the start. Then came more floor removal and more honey.

This process continued as the hunt for the queen was on. Just before 1 p.m., Michael located the queen. Once gently placed in the new hive, the drones and worker bees return to tending to the queen’s needs.

The next step will be a cleansing and settling time as the bees get used to their new home.

Two stings for me and photojournalist Ciara Earrey. Honey toll an estimated 50 pounds. Bees collected between 40,000 and 50,000.

Michael says all in all this is an average haul.

If you see bees clustering or hear buzzing in your walls contact Jaxbees.com and maybe they can help you find the hidden sweet bee treasure.


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